California, Connecticut, Missouri, and New Jersey students win at Chemistry Olympiad

EDITOR’S NOTE: One of the team members is in your area.


California, Connecticut, Missouri, and New Jersey students win at Chemistry Olympiad

The U.S. Chemistry Olympiad team won one silver medal and three bronze at the 40th annual International Chemistry Olympiad in Budapest, Hungary, July 12-21. Russia and China won four gold medals each to lead all other nations.

The U.S. team, made up of four of the nation’s top high school chemistry students, competed with teams from 65 other countries in the week-long event, sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society. This year’s team included students from high schools in New Jersey, California, Missouri and Connecticut. 

The U.S. medallists are:

Jonathan Lee, Northridge, Calif., –– silver medal. A 2008 graduate of Harvard-Westlake High School, Jonathan plans to major in chemistry at Harvard University, where he will be a freshman this fall. He dreams about becoming a physician, researcher and Nobel Prize winner. He was a semi-finalist at the U.S Biology Olympiad, the U.S. Physics Olympiad and an American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME) qualifier.

Andrew Liu, Chesterfield, Mo., –– bronze medal. A Parkway Central High School 2008 graduate, Andrew plans to major in chemical engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), where he will be a freshman this fall. He hopes to do research (one area that interests him deals with nanocapsules that can deliver drugs to specific locations in the body) and become a professor one day. He is a Merit Scholar, a United States of America Mathematics Olympiad (USAMO) qualifier in 2006 and 2007, an Intel SIS contest semi-finalist and a State Science Olympiad participant.

Jenny Lu, Southbury, Conn.,––bronze medal. Jenny, who will be a junior this fall at Pomeraug High School, plans to major and have a career in science. She is only one of two sophomores who have won medals for the U.S. team in the 24-year history of the United States’ participation in the Chemistry Olympiad. She is a 2008 USA Mathematical Talent Search gold medal winner, a 2008 USAMO participant and an American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) perfect scorer.

Yuxin Xie, East Brunswick, N.J., ––bronze medal. Yuxin, a 2008 East Brunswick High School graduate, plans to major in chemistry and bioengineering at MIT, and hopes to become a professor/researcher. He has won the New Jersey Science League (NJSL) Chem I, 1st Individual and Chem II 2nd Individual awards and the Merck Science Day 1st Individual Integrated Advanced award.

Jonathan, Andrew and Yuxin participated in last year’s Chemistry Olympiad summer camp as candidates for the U.S. team.

The U.S. team is routinely a strong competitor at the International Chemistry Olympiad. In 2007, the team won three silver medals and one bronze. In 1999 and 2000, a member of the American team won the top gold medal. This year’s U.S. team members were selected at the conclusion of a comprehensive two-week study camp in June at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

The American Chemical Society has sponsored the American team annually since the United States joined the Olympiad. Principal funding is through the Society’s Othmer Olympiad Endowment, with additional support from the U.S. Air Force Academy; IBM Research; Merck Publishing Group; Texas Instruments, Inc.; W.H. Freeman & Company; McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.; Advanced Chemistry Development; Cengage Learning (formerly Thomson Learning); Pearson Prentice Hall; Flinn Scientific Inc.; Carolina Biological Supply Company; Sigma Chemical Company; and Fisher Scientific.