U.S. team selected for the 53rd International Chemistry Olympiad 

WASHINGTON, June 15, 2021 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) is proud to announce the team that will represent the U.S. at the 53rd International Chemistry Olympiad July 25-Aug. 2. Originally scheduled to take place in Japan, this year’s Olympiad will be held online because of continuing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The members of the 2021 U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) team are:  

Kien Phuong, Landon School, Bethesda, Md.                            
Nikhil Seshadri, University City High School, San Diego
Young Zhou, PRISMS, Princeton, N.J.
Yitian Zhu, Seven Lakes High School, Katy,Texas


Nethaka Dassanayake, Ames High School, Ames, Iowa
Nathan Yihe Ouyang, University High School, Irvine, Calif.

The team is supported by these mentors:

Joseph Houck, Ph.D., Penn State University, University Park, Pa., head mentor
Esther Hines, Billerica Memorial High School, Billerica, Mass., high school mentor
Laura Serbulea, Ph.D., University of Virginia, Charlottesville, college mentor
Anugrah Chemparathy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, peer mentor
Edward Jin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, peer mentor

After outscoring more than 16,000 others on a national exam, 20 students earned an invitation to an intensive virtual study camp, where they received college-level training with an emphasis on organic chemistry through a series of lectures, problem-solving exercises and tests. At the conclusion of the camp, the four highest-scoring students made the USNCO team.

ACS has sponsored the American team annually since the U.S. joined the Olympiad in 1984. Principal funding is through the ACS Donald F. and Mildred Topp Othmer Chemistry Olympiad Endowment, with additional support from other donors. For a complete list of donors, visit our website.

The International Chemistry Olympiad 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.

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