U.S. team brings home the gold from International Chemistry Olympiad

WASHINGTON, July 18, 2017 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) is proud to announce that, for the first time in history, the four high school chemistry whiz kids representing the U.S. at the annual International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) each earned a gold medal. The competition was held in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.

The members of the U.S. team, Alpha Kappa, are:

  • Harrison Wang of Hinsdale Central High School, Hinsdale, Illinois -- fifth highest ranking gold medal
  • Steven Liu of Monta Vista High School, Cupertino, California
  • Joshua Park of Lexington High School, Lexington, Massachusetts
  • Brendan Yap of Carmel High School, Carmel, Indiana

“ACS congratulates the U.S. team, Alpha Kappa, for making history with all four students winning gold medals,” says ACS President Allison A. Campbell, Ph.D. “The Society is proud to sponsor the team, and we wish them continued success.”

The U.S. students competed with 293 students from 75 countries from July 6 to 15. During these 10 days of exams, laboratory work, athletics and sightseeing, the students had a chance to compete at the highest levels and establish networks that go beyond cultures and borders.

The IChO originated with Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary in 1968. Soon, other Eastern European countries joined the event; Western Europe began participating in 1974. The first U.S. team competed in 1984, winning one silver and two bronze medals.

ACS has sponsored the American team annually since the U.S. joined the Olympiad. Principal funding is through the ACS Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Olympiad Endowment, with additional support from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Department of Chemistry; Carolina Biological Supply Company; National Geographic Learning|Cengage Learning; Fisher Science Education; Flinn Scientific Inc.; Prentice Hall Publishers; Texas Instruments Inc.; University Science Books; Sigma-Aldrich Inc.; and Wiley & Sons Publishers.

The American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, is a not-for-profit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. ACS is a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related information and research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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Left to right: Yap, Liu, Park and Wang
Credit: C. Hernandez/ACS
High-resolution Image