The You Be The Chemist regional challenge took place on Saturday, February 29, 2020 at the Meade County College and Career Center. This year, eight teams of 4 participated in the regional competition, with four of the teams from Meade County. The top two teams advance to the state competition where they will complete video submission for judging. From there they have the opportunity to advance to the You Be the Chemist National Competition, in Houston Texas. The competitors came from three separate Kentucky counties: Hardin, Meade, and Jefferson. The competitors by county were:
Jefferson County Logan Strong, Khoa Tieu, Isaiah Taul, Kristin Garrett, Wilson Tang, Brandon Tran, Elisa Sokoli, Tammery Phan – School Advisor Leslie Gividen. Sponsor: Dow Chemical.
Hardin County Karen Barredo Rivera, Charles Cox, Michelle Rocha, Shyann Robbins, Taylor Barno, Seojun Lee, Braydon Scott, Bailey Seadler, Nazara Morgan, Jocelyn Seadler, Gautam Singh, and Harper Taylor – School Advisor Melissa Goes. Sponsor: Dow Chemical.
Meade County Ramie Staples, Tre Sadler, Anthony Guarino, Catherine Campbell, William Young, Lauren Witt, Payton Durbin, Sophia Vowels, Felix Comings, Max Allen, Emma Goins, Ethan Bruce, Rylee Snider, Kaylee Welch, Emilee Staubs, Paul Slack – School Advisor Becky Hacker. Sponsor: Monument Chemical.
The competition moderator was Darren Carman (Meade Co. Schools), the judges were Tiffanie Lucas from Dow Chemical, and from Monument Chemical, Conner Sexton, Lauren Hamilton, Allie Greenwood and Alexandra Bledsoe. Amy Berry (Meade Co. Board of Education), Autumn Mattingly (Meade Co. Schools), and Melissa Tabor (Meade Co. Schools) hosted and supported the competition and judges scoring.
The competition was fierce as the students answered very difficult questions spanning a variety of scientific topics. The four rounds were full of advanced chemistry questions that would challenge a college chemistry student. The amazing knowledge exhibited by these students was quite impressive! Anyone involved with this competition in the past can attest to the fact that the new team-based format with open answer questions added a couple more degrees of difficulty to the previous multiple choice, individual competitor format.
First place: Stuart Pepper Middle School (Meade Co.) – Rylee Snider, Kaylee Welch, Emilee Staubs and Paul Slack.
Second place: Bluegrass Middle School (Hardin Co.) – Nazara Morgan, Jocelyn Seadler, Gautam Singh and Harper Taylor.
Third place: Bluegrass Middle School (Hardin Co.) – Taylor Barno, Seojun Lee, Braydon Scott, Bailey Seadler
Special medals were awarded to the top three teams and certificates to all competitors. Dow Chemical provided You Be The Chemist competition t-shirts. To finish off the afternoon of competition, a hot pizza treat was served up for all in attendance provided by Monument Chemical.
The You Be The Chemist initiative is the flagship program of the Chemical Educational Foundation® (CEF; www.chemed.org). The CEF is a nationally recognized, award winning, non-profit organization committed to enhancing science education among every generation, beginning with our youth. By emphasizing the central role of chemistry in all the sciences and in our everyday lives, CEF strives to inspire our future leaders in pursuing science-related careers and to improve the overall understanding of, participation in, and appreciation of chemistry and chemicals. The You Be The Chemist program focuses on grades K-8 and is designed to:
• Inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers, and industry leaders.
• Enhance science education through innovative techniques, such as hands-on activities and chemistry competitions.
• Effect positive long-term change in the general public's understanding of, participation in, and appreciation towards chemistry, chemicals, and the chemical industry.
Monument Chemical enthusiastically supports the regional and state competitions with a monetary donation but also with volunteer employees. Monument is also a Silver Level sponsor of the National Competition. This sustains the legacy support which has been provided over the last decade.
Monument Chemical is a privately held, family owned business, headquartered in Indianapolis, IN. With over 100 years of combined history, the families have invested extensively in the development of technical expertise and high-productivity solutions for the specialty hydrocarbons business.
Monument Chemical was founded in 2008 with the Johann Haltermann acquisition. In 2010, Monument expanded its global footprint into Europe with the acquisition of a facility in Antwerp, Belgium. In 2012 further expanded its US presence with the acquisition of Advanced Aromatics in Baytown, Texas and the acquisition of a facility in Brandenburg, Kentucky. In 2018, Monument further expanded its presence in the Houston area by acquiring Nova Molecular Technologies in Bayport, Texas.