Thousands Take Part in You Be The Chemist® Competitions Across the Country

Students sit together during the You Be The Chemist® local competition in Guayama, Puerto Rico.

Answering an impressive array of questions that would stump most adults, middle school-aged students showed off their expertise at more than 100 You Be The Chemist® local competitions over the past several weeks.

In Hahnville, Louisiana, for instance, 19 students squared off at the second annual Dow St. Charles Parish You Be The Chemist Challenge®. Dow sponsors many of the local challenges, as well as being the top national sponsor of the program, which is run by the Chemical Educational Foundation. This year, the number of students in Dow communities who took part in the competition more than doubled to over 9,000. The number of Dow-sponsored local challenges increased from 13 to 23 and included six new states.

Guayama, Puerto Rico, hosted its first local competition, with 20 students taking part. And in Lake Jackson, Texas, 34 students gathered at the Dow Academic Center for a rousing local competition.

Students contemplate their answers during the Dow St. Charles Parish You Be the Chemist Challenge in Hahnville, Louisiana.

Top performers at these local competitions qualify for state-level events, where each state’s champion earns a spot at the national finals, set for June 22 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Each spring, thousands of students at participating schools around the country begin the process by taking in-school written tests, with the top scorers qualifying for the local competitions. The You Be the Chemist program also provides study materials for students, as well as teaching resources. The entire program is free for students and schools alike. To find out more, including how to get your school involved, go to