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Local students compete in National Chemistry Olympiad at HU

HUNTINGTON, Ind. The Northeastern Indiana Section of the American Chemical Society announces eight outstanding high school students who competed in the National Chemistry Olympiad Exam on April 25 at Huntington University.

The students are Benjamin Dvorak and Natalie Hawken of Homestead High School (teacher Rob Dillman), Logan Hille and Anne Lietzke of Carroll High School (teacher Pamela Bell); Water Li of Canterbury High School (teacher Scott Rumage); Kyler McVoy and Charles Mettler of Huntington North High School (teacher Joe Perkins); and William Pierce of DeKalb High School (teacher Valerie Berger).

The results of the exam may qualify them to become members of the U. S. National Chemistry Olympiad team that will compete in the 46th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in Hanoi, Vietnam, July 20-29.

The IChO involves a series of theoretical exams, laboratory exercises and other activities aimed at identifying the best chemistry students from participating nations from around the world. The U.S. has participated in this event since 1984.

In 2013, the U. S. team won two gold and two silver medals. A total of 291 students represented 73 countries at the 45th IChO, in Moscow, Russia.

The eight local nominees are among more than 1,200 nationwide that took a national qualifying exam April 22-28 to select finalists. Twenty students will be identified and will undergo intensive training June 3-18 at the U. S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. The top four will be chosen to represent the U. S. in the 46th IChO competition.

A local chemistry scholarship exam competition sponsored by the Northeastern Indiana American Chemical Society was also hosted on April 26 at Huntington University with a total of 28 students from 10 northeastern Indiana high schools participating.

"Excellent student performance on this local high school exam is an indicator that we have some truly impressive chemistry teachers in the area who have taught their students well," said Dr. Ruth Nalliah, professor of chemistry at HU.

The top 11 students will receive scholarship awards and will be honored along with their high school teachers at a banquet at IPFW in May. They include Haley Brouwer, Logan Hille and Anthony McGuire of Carroll High School (teacher Pamela Bell); Peter Dun and Walter Li of Canterbury High School (teacher Scott Rumage); Benjamin Dvorak, Hussain Habib, Natalie Hawken and Trevor Waldman of Homestead High School (teacher Rob Dillman); and Jonathan Moss and Clayton Travis of DeKalb High School (teacher Valerie Berger).

Founded in 1876 and chartered by Congress, the American Chemical Society is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to the advancement of chemistry in the public interest. The Northeastern Indiana Section is one of 185 across the nation serving more than 160,000 members.