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You Be The Chemist Challenge

School District 62 - UOP - You Be the Chemist Challange

UOP has sponsored the area competition for the last 10 years. The Challenge is a national program designed by the Chemical Educational Foundation. Each school can bring two students plus an alternate to compete. Students take a two-hour exam just to qualify.

  • 2015
  • 2014
  • 2013
  • 2012
YBTCC-Veronica Kleinschmidt

Veronica Kleinschmidt

When Veronica Kleinschmidt competed last year in the You Be The Chemist Challenge, she lost in the fifth round. This year as an 8th grader she took that loss to heart and studied again. Harder.

Veronica studied the 100-page guide, and read an additional book on chemistry, she said. That extra work paid off March 3 when she beat out 39 competitors from 14 schools to win the area You Be The Chemist competition. She will be representing Algonquin Middle School and District 62 in the state championship April 25, 2015 at Benedictine University.

UOP has sponsored the area competition for the last 10 years. The Challenge is a national program designed by the Chemical Educational Foundation. Each school can bring two students plus an alternate to compete. Students take a two-hour exam just to qualify.

If Veronica wins the state competition, she receives and all-expenses paid trip to Philadelphia to compete at nationals, said Ms. Wiemann, Algonquin science teacher who organizes the qualifying portion of the challenge.

Veronica says chemistry is probably her favorite part of science but she also likes engineering. She has been involved in the Algonquin Middle School’s after-school STEM Club for three years and also is in the robotics club.

In her spare time, you’ll find her in the pool, swimming with the Des Plaines River Racers.

Students from Chippewa Middle School and Iroquois Community School and this year one student from North School also participated in the competition.



All contestants at the State Challenge compete for a free trip for themselves and a parent to participate in the You Be The Chemist National Challenge held in Philadelphia. At the National Challenge first, second, and third place winners receive educational savings bonds.

Contact: Mrs. Catherine Wiemann, Science, Algonquin Middle School, 847-827-1205


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Related items

You Be the Chemist Illinois Challenge Participation Workshop
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Congratulations to the District 62 You Be the Chemist students who competed at the state Chem Challenge over the years:

Dara Kovacheva, Algonquin Middle School; Bhagirath Mehta, Iroquois Community School; Ian Mann, Algonquin Middle School; Haripriya Mehta, Iroquois Community School; Adeel Afshar, Algonquin Middle School; and Aaron Cunanan, Chippewa Middle School.


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Leon Smaage
Administration Center

777 East Algonquin Road
Des Plaines, IL 60016-6281
847-824-1136