Chemistry Champions Contest

Vote for our four finalists in Philadelphia, PA! Live or online!

At the ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia, our four finalists will compete for the crown of ChemChamp 2016.

Saturday, August 20, 3pm Musser Demonstration Auditorium
The Franklin Institute
222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA
(paid admission required to watch in person)

Monday, August 22, 7pm (doors 6:30pm)
The Field House
1150 Filbert St., Philadelphia, PA
free appetizers

The August 22 performance will be livecast via Periscope and Facebook Live - tune in at 7pm ET to watch and vote for your favorite:

Three professional science communication judges will also give feedback on August 22 to the contestants:

In the meantime, watch our Finalists' videos - numbers 1-4 at

The winner will be determined by cumulative scores from YouTube views and the live performances on August 20 and 22.

Also: If you're in Philadelphia for the ACS National Meeting and interested how you can participate in science communications beyond ChemChamps, check out these symposia and other events!

And congratulations to our hard working Semifinalists!


From left to right with (*) for finalists: Nathan Turner*, Will Shafer, Mallory Hinks*, Olga Zamudio*, Melanie Swannell, Robin DeClercq, Amanda Pluntze, John Gleeson*
Christine Schmidt, ACS

Youtube ID:

Entries are now closed, but here's the Contest information:

For younger chemists proud to tell non-scientists about research or how chemistry works. The top ones will get a chance at a free trip to the 252nd ACS National Meeting in Philadelphia, PA.

How to enter  

  1. Shoot a video 3 minutes or less of yourself about your chemistry research OR a chemistry concept you're great at explaining. The video must be understandable by non-scientist native English speakers.
  2. Upload your video to YouTube
  3. Fill out this release form and email a scanned copy along with your video link to
    •  Videos longer than 3 minutes do not qualify  


Eligible videos submitted between April 25, 5:00pm EDT, and May 2, 3:00pm EDT will be in contention by view counts, but will not be considered by judges.  

Once ACS verifies receiving the link and release form, your video will be added to the official 2016 ChemChamps playlist - (playing in video above). Views considered as of 11:59pm ET on May 2. Qualifiers for Round 2 will be announced on May 5 via Twitter and informed via email.

How the contest works:

Round 1: Twelve advance from YouTube video

Top 8 judged for quality; 4 more by number of views.

Round 2: Eight advance from new YouTube video

Top 8 judged for quality.

Round 3 Semifinals: Four advance from live performance

Semifinalists receive several hours of science communications tips, social media strategy advice, feedback on their videos, and one-on-one coaching over a day and a half. Semifinalists then each give 3 min live presentation; top 4 judged for quality.

Round 4 Finals: One winner from live performance(s) and new YouTube video

Through 1-2 live events in Philadelphia and a new YouTube video, scores added to determine overall winner and runner-up.  

Full contest details available here.

Important Dates (all 2016):

  • April 25, 5:00pm EDT - all eligible videos received enter judging
  • May 2, 3:00pm EDT - deadline for view count only videos
  • May 2, 11:59pm ET - views and likes counted
  • May 5 - Round 2 qualifiers announced (12 in total)
  • May 16 - Round 2 videos due
  • May 23 - Semifinalists informed via email (8 in total)
  • by June 1 - Semifinalists publically announced
  • June 22-23 - Semifinals in Washington, DC
  • Aug 19-24 - Finals period; exact dates to be announced June 23


  • Entry is open to all who qualify as Younger Chemists on any calendar day in 2016
    • birthdate on or after January 2, 1980
  • All Semifinalists must be ACS members with a membership expiration after September 1, 2016
    • i.e. you do not need to be an ACS member to enter the contest in March/April
    • NOTE: high school students are (generally) not eligible for ACS Membership - see FAQs for more information
  • Entrants must complete, sign, and submit a contest release form



  • Guarantee of up to $1000 USD for roundtrip transportation to Washington, DC, accommodation included
  • Receive tips on science communication via live, social media, and video performance; meet ACS staff


  • Guarantee of up to $1000 USD for roundtrip transportation to Philadelphia, PA, accommodation included  


  • host an ACS Webinar

Grand Prize Winner!

  • trip to Washington, DC to network with professional science communications staff at ACS and possibly attend a briefing on Capitol Hill
  • host an ACS Reactions video
  • join the National Academy of Sciences' Science & Entertainment Exchange
  • the 3D-printed Chemistry Champions trophy


Follow the Contestants on Twitter!

Follow #chemchamps on Twitter to cheer on your favorites and share their videos with others.  

New to Twitter? Check out Getting Started with Twitter.

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