Students from Calif., NJ, NY, Pa. named to U.S. team for 2011 International Chemistry Olympiad

WASHINGTON, June 17, 2011 — As students across the country are leaving academics behind for the summer, four students are doing quite the opposite as they ramp up to represent the United States at the 43rd International Chemistry Olympiad. The international competition for the world’s most talented chemistry students at the secondary school level will be held July 9-18, 2011, in Ankara, Turkey.

Media Contact

Joan Coyle

The four U.S. team members are:

  • Konstantin Borisov, Wexford, Pa., North Allegheny High School
  • Tayyab Shah, Vestal, N.Y., Vestal High School
  • Elmer Tan, Edison, N.J., John P. Stevens High School
  • Joe Tung, Cerritos, Calif., Gretchen Whitney High School

The American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, sponsors the U.S. team with support from other partners. The four members of the travel team and two alternates were chosen after a nine-day study and training camp for 20 of the nation’s top chemistry students at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. They were selected from more than 11,000 high school students across the country that initially competed for a spot on the U.S. team.

“ACS is proud to announce the U.S. team members. These young men possess outstanding scientific talent, and will lead our future in scientific discovery and innovation,” said ACS President Nancy B. Jackson, Ph.D. “In 2011, the International Year of Chemistry, the Chemistry Olympiad holds even more meaning for the scores of young chemists who will gather from around the world. Students will not only compete in graduate-level science with the best and the brightest of their peers, but they will have an opportunity to celebrate the importance of chemistry in solving global problems.”

Two alternates were also named, in case a member of the team is unable to participate. They are:

  • Kevin Yan, North Potomac, Md., Wootton High School (first alternate)
  • Sriram Pendyala, Folsom, Calif., Mira Loma High School (second alternate)

Students were trained by faculty of the Air Force Academy Department of Chemistry and Kris Fletcher, head mentor, Chromatic Technologies, Inc. ,Colorado Springs, Colo.; Steve Lantos, mentor, Brookline High School, Brookline, Mass.; Kelli Slunt, mentor, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Va.; and peer mentor, Brian Lee, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.

The U.S. team will go up against teams from more than 70 countries. In past Olympiads, the U.S. team has been a strong competitor at the international event. In 2010, they won two gold medals, one silver, and one bronze. In 2009, the U.S. team won a gold medal and three silver medals. In 2008, the team won one silver and three bronze medals.

The ACS has sponsored the American team annually since the United States joined the Olympiad. Principal funding is through the ACS’ Othmer Olympiad Endowment with additional support from the Air Force Academy; Advanced Chemistry Development; Carolina Biological Supply Company; Fisher Scientific; Flinn Scientific, Inc; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.; McGraw-Hill Companies; Merck Publishing Group; Pearson Prentice Hall; Sigma Aldrich Co, Texas Instruments, Inc.; and University Science Books.


The International Chemistry Olympiad U.S. team:
(left to right) Konstantin Borisov, Elmer Tan,
Joe Tung, Tayyab Shah