Students from across the country proved that they are chemists in the making at the 10th annual National You Be The Chemist Challenge ® on June 23, 2014. BASF sponsored student Varun Mosur competed against 29 other 5th – 8th grade students and finished in fourth place. Mosur received a $1,000 scholarship to use towards his higher education.
Mosur, an eighth-grade student from Blue Ridge Elementary School in Loudon County, VA, traveled to Philadelphia, Pa. to represent his state and compete for the title of National You Be The Chemist Challenge ® Champion. BASF Corporation is a Platinum sponsor of the National Challenge and also sponsored the Virginia state competition, which was held at the company’s facilities in Suffolk, VA.
“We are pleased to sponsor an activity that enhances the learning experience of students,” said Beverly Nedab, Human Resources Manager for BASF in Suffolk, who organizes the State Challenge every year. “Through our interactions with local schoolchildren we find that they are eager to learn more about the science of chemistry and its real-world applications. We are then able to channel this enthusiasm into rewarding programs such as the You Be The Chemist Challenge ®.”
The National You Be The Chemist Challenge ® competition is part of a three-day science celebration developedby the Chemical Educational Foundation® (CEF). The Challenge is an exciting question-and-answer competition that allows students to test their knowledge of chemistry concepts, scientific theories and laboratory safety as they compete to represent their state on a national level. The Challenge is an educational event that aims to partner chemical companies, like BASF, with schools in their local communities.
Seven other BASF sponsored students won their local state challenges and participated in the national contest. They included Dermot Curtin, an eighth-grader from Ridgedale Middle School in Florham Park, New Jersey; James Boone, an eighth-grader from Clover Middle School in Clover, South Carolina; Rishikesh Madabushi, a seventh-grader from Irvington Middle School in Irvington, New York; Nicholas Milkaucic, a seventh-grader from Randolph Middle School in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, North Carolina; Elaina Maltas, a seventh-grader from Brooklyn Guernset Malcom School in Brooklyn, Iowa; Vivian Aragon, an eighth-grader from Madison, Alabama; and Varun Moser, the fourth place winner and eighth-grader from Blue Ridge Elementary School in Loudon County, Virginia.
“As the world’s leading chemical company, BASF recognizes the importance of immersing students in science – realizing that they will be the thinkers, innovators and leaders of the future,” said Patrick Hochstrasser, Manager of the BASF site in Suffolk. “Our strength as a company lies in our ability to find innovative solutions to meet the needs of the future, and therefore, it is essential that we support and develop the best scientific and technical talents. We are very proud that one of our local students placed so well in the national competition.”
BASF’s sponsorship allowed the CEF to invite participants, chaperones and educators to travel to Philadelphia for the program, participate in a celebration dinner and awards ceremony and visit historic sites and museums. Scholarships totaling $15,000 were awarded to the top four placing students in the Challenge: first place winner Audrey Gallier, from Illinois; second place winner Amar Moturu, from Texas; third place winner Michael Allen, from Ohio; and fourth place winner Varun Mosur, sponsored by BASF, from Virginia.
Along with the You Be The Chemist Challenge ®, BASF engages local schoolchildren in a series of hands on science education programs and learning opportunities including the company’s Kid’s Lab program for children between ages of 6-12; the BASF Science Academy for rising high school seniors and publication of special science literacy magazine through Kids X-Press. Since 2010, BASF’s science education outreach programs have involved more than 40,000 students across the US, Canada and Mexico.
For a press photo, please click on the following link: http://www.basf.us/pressphotos/06-30-14_YBTCNationalWinners.jpg
Suggested photo caption: The 10th National You Be The Chemist Challenge ® was held on June 23, 2014 in Philadelphia, PA. The top ranking students from left are National Champion Audrey Gallier; 1st runner up Amar Moturu; 2nd runner up Michael Allen and 3rd runner up Varun Mosur, who was sponsored by the BASF site in Suffolk, VA.
About the Chemical Educational Foundation
Founded in 1989 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the Chemical Educational Foundation ® (CEF) works closely with industry to enhance science education opportunities for our youth. Based on the Next Generation Science Standards, the You Be The Chemist Challenge® introduces chemistry concepts to grade 5-8 students in an engaging format. For more information on the Challenge, visit www.chemed.org. In 2014, CEF celebrates its 25th anniversary and the 10th anniversary of the You Be The Chemist Challenge® program.