U.S. team selected for the 54th International Chemistry Olympiad

WASHINGTON, June 21, 2022 — The American Chemical Society (ACS) is proud to announce the team that will represent the U.S. at the 54th International Chemistry Olympiad on July 8 to 18. Originally scheduled to take place in Tianjin, China, the 2022 Olympiad will be held online due to continuing concerns about the coronavirus pandemic.

The members of 2022 Team USA, are:
Jack Liu, Carmel High School, Indiana
Nathan Yihe Ouyang, University High School, Irvine, California
Gideon Tzafriri, Lexington High School, Massachusetts  
Phoenix Wu, Seven Lakes High School, Katy, Texas

1st Yufei Chen, University High School, Irvine, California
2nd Mingwen Duan, East Lyme High School, Connecticut

The team is supported by these mentors:
Head mentor: Joseph Houck, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University
High school mentor: Esther Hines, Billerica Memorial High School, Massachusetts
College mentor: Laura Serbulea, Ph.D., University of Virginia

After outscoring hundreds of other students on a national exam, the top 20 were invited to an intensive study camp. There, they received college-level chemistry training with an emphasis on organic chemistry via a series of lectures, problem-solving exercises, lab experiments and tests. The four highest-scoring students during the study camp make up Team USA.

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 sponsors, visit the USNCO 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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Six high school students wearing suits, each with a medal around their necks
L to R: Yufei Chen, Gideon Tzafriri, Nathan Yihe Ouyang, Phoenix Wu, Jack Liu, Mingwen Duan
Photo credit: Robin Polk