Dear Chemistry Colleague,
As 2023 Chair of the Orlando Section of the American Chemical Society (ACS), I am pleased to announce that the Orlando section will be participating in the 2024 US National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO). The primary goals of this program are to stimulate interest and achievement in chemistry among high school students throughout the United States and to provide recognition of outstanding young chemistry students, teachers, and schools.
Students competing in the USNCO are eligible to be selected as members of the United States team for the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO). For the past 35 years, the United States has sent a team of four students to compete with nations around the world at IChO. The students participate in both theoretical and laboratory examinations over several days. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are awarded to the best performers and the IChO provides students the opportunity to interact with their peers from other countries.
My immediate task is to encourage you and your students to participate in this program. New this year, is our partnership with Dr. Luca Argenti, from the physics department at UCF. In high school, Luca was part of the Italian team at the IChO, where he earned a silver and a gold medal. He will be offering sessions for students, both online and in person, to help prepare students for the exam.
It is the responsibility of the Orlando section to nominate students from the local area to take the USNCO national examination. In order to identify these students, the Orlando section is conducting a preliminary screening of students through the high school chemistry faculty in our area. The national exam involves three phases, administered to more than 1000 students. The first exam is done in the high school chemistry class organized by the high school instructor for nominated students. This can take place anytime during the month of March. Exams will be mailed to the high school instructor in late February. Exam answer sheets are emailed or mailed back to the Olympiad coordinator by March 30, 2024
Ten (10) students (maximum of 2 students from each high school) will be chosen, based on the second round scores, to take part in an all-day chemistry practical at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy on Saturday, April 20, 2024 in Room 404. This is an all-day theoretical and practical exam, running from 8:30 AM-3:00 PM. Students will be notified in early April if they are selected for this second round of testing. Students can view study resources and view past exams at www.acs.org/olympiad.
I encourage your school to participate in this academic Olympiad. All students who participate will be recognized and presented with a certificate and pin. The top 150 students will receive recognition for outstanding performance at the national level. Also, any student making it to the third round of testing in Washington, DC in May, can be sponsored by the Orlando Section for travel. The local Orlando section hopes this recognition will stimulate interest in chemistry and promote a positive attitude toward chemistry.
Mary Roslonowski has been appointed the USNCO coordinator for this area. We encourage you to nominate students from your school to this competition by completing and returning the enclosed registration form on or before Jan 19, 2024 to Mary Roslonowski at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you would like your students to participate in the chemistry enrichment sessions with Dr. Argenti, please email Mary as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please contact her at 321-243-6198. Thank you for helping to promote chemical education in the US.
2023 Chair, Orlando Section ACS