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Liberty’s Sethi aims at national in ‘You Be the Chemist’

MADISON – Neil Sethi, a student at Liberty Middle School, won for the state of Alabama in the “You Be the Chemist” challenge.

He qualified to compete with his peers from other states for the 2019 National Challenge, scheduled in Washington D.C. starting on June 15. The Omni Shoreham Hotel will host all events in the national challenge, which BASF sponsors.

“The challenge for You Be the Chemist is a multilevel individual competition that begins with participants completing the challenge qualifier at their schools,” Liberty sponsor and teacher Carla Beardslee said.

“The qualifier is a short multiple-choice test that the Chemical Educational Foundation provides for educators to administer. Top qualifier scorers from each school then advance to the next level of competition for a local or local-as-state challenge,” Beardslee said.

At local and state challenges, students answer several rounds of multiple-choice questions. Students participate individually in the challenge competitions.

At the contest, students will compete in quiz bowls. The challenge attracts personnel from various organizations, including school administrators, chemical professionals, educators and community partners to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics or STEM education.

In addition, the events encourage educators to engage and build their confidence to teach hands-on science for students in grades K-8. The challenge strives “to strengthen communities by connecting students and educators with volunteers from science industries,” Beardslee said.

The students who score the highest will move on to the next level of competition. The top participant from each state advances to the national challenge, Beardslee said.

Sethi and his fellow delegates will compete for most of the day on June 17, with a reception, “Celebration of Careers in Chemistry” that evening. Delegates will attend a farewell breakfast on June 18.

“The Chemical Educational Foundation issues study materials to help students succeed at every level of the challenge and encourage them to explore the fascinating world of chemistry and its real-world applications,” Beardslee said.

Sponsors include The Dow Chemical Company as diamond sponsor and BASF Corporation as platinum sponsor.

For more information, visit chemed.org/programs/challenge/national-challenge.

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