Students Place in National Chemistry Competition

MHS Students ​Place in National Chemistry Competition
Posted on 05/08/2018
Chemistry CompetitionMason High Sc​hool students competed in the Washington University Chemistry Tournament April 7 and 8 in ​St. Louis. The team competed in a series of individual and team-based chemistry challenges, placing third in "Breaking Bonds," third in "The Director's Award" and second in "Team Rounds."

MHS students Jeffrey Huang, Justin Huang, Richard Liu, Sruthi Parthasarathi, Allen Yang​ and Sycamore High School student Max Guo competed ​in the event ​of more than 320 students from 53 teams ​and across the nation​. ​​The competition included an individual, partner, and team rounds that explored various aspects of chemistry at sites all around campus.

​"​We prepared through multiple group practices before the big weekend, and getting accustomed to the group-style rounds of the competition. This involved getting familiar with each other's strengths and being able to work cooperatively," shared Jeffrey Huang. "We were all incredibly proud of the success at this competition, especially as first-time competitors."

Groups of two prepared for the various topic rounds, which included Chemistry of Human Body Systems, the Environment, and of Cooking. These specializations required students to prepare for interesting applications to our specific information niche, which directly related to topics learned in AP Chemistry.

"Chemistry is incredibly interesting due to the many different applications that Chemistry can be applied to. As we learn in AP Chemistry with Mrs. Aimee Hansen, chemistry is fundamental from medicine to industrial processes to our lives," shared Huang. "Another great reason to love chemistry is figuring out the processes of how to solve a problem or lab, and sifting through all of the information including the reactions, relative amounts, the bonds, and every other factor in high pressure situations within team tests or a lab."

The challenges included the team round, individual round, topics round, and Breaking Bonds. In Breaking Bonds, each team is split up into their tables, and choose packets that included easy, medium, and hard sets. Then, the teams rush to complete the problems of the page, and turn in the packet to obtain a new set of three problems, attempting to complete as many as possible within the one hour time limit.

"As it sounds from the description, this was incredibly hectic and we definitely needed to work together to finish so many problems in 60 minutes," added Huang.

The team round combined many problems that included applications from a variety of fields of chemistry, including many open-response answers requiring the brain power of the entire team.
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