Local Chemistry Olympiad Competitions

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Approximately 10,000 U.S. high school students enter local Chemistry Olympiad competitions vying for a chance to compete in the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad and the International Chemistry Olympiad.

ACS local sections conduct local competitions each March to select nominees for the U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad. Coordinators are responsible for administering exams and reviewing teacher recommendations.

How to Participate

To register your school (teachers) or home-schooled student (parents), contact the coordinator of your ACS Local Section. If your school will not be registering for the competition, a parent or guardian can contact the coordinator of your ACS Local Section directly.

If your ACS local section is not participating in the Olympiad, email us at usnco@acs.org.

Preparing for the Local Competition

If you are a student or teacher:

If you are a local section coordinator:

  • The Olympiad Coordinators page contains detailed information, including the competition schedule and handbook
  • The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad Local Examination is available (for a fee) through ACS. To request an order form, call (800) 227-5558 ext. 6328 or email usnco@acs.org
  • Be sure to provide additional questions to use as tie-breakers in the event that several students have the same score

Recognizing Participants

Local sections often recognize top students with monetary or other awards. If you are thinking about recognizing students and volunteers, consider:

  • Awarding framed certificates or plaques to students and teachers
    *Request recognition certificates (free)
  • Providing monetary scholarships/awards
  • Presenting the CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics to students
  • Inviting students, parents, and teachers to a local section awards banquet
  • Purchasing USNCO lapel pins