You Be The Chemist

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You Be the Chemist Challenge
in Northwest Ohio

5th-8th Grade Teachers, are invited you to become part of the annual You Be the Chemist Challenge® sponsored by the Chemical Educational Foundation. An interactive academic contest that uses the drama of competition to excite students about science. The Challenge tests students’ knowledge of chemistry concepts, their real-world applications, and other topics that are included in standard science curriculum, such as:

  • the scientific method
  • properties of matter
  • chemical formulas & equations
  • chemistry in the human body

Participating schools and students have an opportunity to receive national recognition, scholarships, and prizes. The Challenge Champion, one chaperone, and one educator from each state even receive an expenses-paid trip to the national competition in Philadelphia in June! There is no cost to participate, and participation requires a minimal time commitment from schools and educators. Study materials are provided free online to help students prepare for the competition. For a listing of school and student participation requirements and to download the study materials, visit

The Local and State Challenge events are brought to you by NWO, University of Toledo's American Chemical Society, Toledo Public Schools, PVS-Nolwood Chemicals, Inc., and Imagination Station.

What is the You Be The Chemist (YBTC) Challenge?

The Challenge was created by the Chemical Educational Foundation ® (CEF) a national non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing science education for our youth. The 2014–2015 Challenge involved 34 states as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico with nearly 40,000 students. We continue to grow the program each year and hope to get your school involved! Please let me know if you have questions.  To register your school, please visit

How does the school or school district Challenge work?

Important Information:

  • Contact our State Challenge Coordinator, Bob Mendenhall or at (419) 671-8320 with any questions and to help you register to have your students compete.
  • Edith Kippenhan of University of Toledo and the local chapter of ACS is helping find chemical company sponsors for schools interested in participating. Contact Edith Kippenhan for assistance with sponsorship.
  • If you are a school or district in Wood County, OH, contact NWO for help with a sponsor.

Study materials are provided free online to help students prepare for the competition. For a listing of school and student participation requirements and to download the study materials, visit

Once you complete the testing, you will notify Bob Mendenhall of the top three finishers. These students will be invited to compete in our State Competition. The State top finishers will receive prizes for competing. The winner of this competition will advance to the National Competition and will receive an all expenses paid trip to the competition held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

How do I prepare my students?

The Chemical Education Foundation offers FREE online study materials to help students succeed at every level of the Challenge. To prepare for a Challenge competition, students should begin by reviewing the YBTC Challenge study materials, including the Periodic Table and Periodic Table of Atomic Weights handouts. The qualifying exam is a multiple choice test. Students are encouraged to seek additional examples and explanations of chemistry concepts from outside resources as competition questions often require students to connect concepts and apply their knowledge of chemistry to both familiar and unfamiliar situations.

Contact NWO after information becomes available…

to let us know that your school or district is planning to take part in the Qualifying Exam competition and would like to participate in a Local Competition. All Qualifying Exams must be given and the top students selected in order to compete at Imagination Station. All schools, public and private, are welcome and encouraged to compete.


Updated: 09/08/2021 08:33AM