The U.S. National Chemistry Olympiad (USNCO) program is a multi-tiered competition sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS) since 1984. It consists of the following:
Local Section Competition – This competition consists of a multiple-choice ACS exam administered by the teachers at participating high schools. The top eight students are selected to represent the Oklahoma Section during the National Exam.
National Examination – A three-part, four and one-half hour examination which includes multiple choice questions, a free-response section, and a laboratory practical administered by the ACS local sections. The scores are used to select twenty of the top students to attend the USNCO study camp.
Study Camp – A two-week training camp held at the U.S. Air Force Academy to prepare 20 students for the international competition. Based on the performance at the study camp, four students are selected to represent the United States at the International Chemistry Olympiad.
International Chemistry Olympiad (IchO) – A ten-day competition held abroad. Typically four students comprise a team and approximately 50 teams participate. The competition consists of a five-hour theoretical exam and a five-hour laboratory exam. The students also participate in cultural exchange activities.
Goals of the USNCO Program
The ACS views the USNCO program as a means of investing in the future of young chemists in this country. The goals of the Olympiad are:
- to stimulate all young people to achieve excellence in chemistry;
- to recognize outstanding chemistry students and, by doing so to encourage additional learning at a formative time in their intellectual development;
- to recognize the excellent achievement of the teachers of these students and the importance of the school environment in which they learn;
- to promote contact between ACS local sections and area schools and to foster the interest and influence of professional chemists in the teaching of chemistry;
- to foster cross-cultural experiences and to acquaint students with similarities and differences between themselves and their counterparts in other nations; and,
- to challenge the chemical knowledge and skills of students in an international arena.
Danielle Jacobs of the Trenton ACS Section chairs the joint Chemistry Olympiad Program of the Trenton & Princeton ACS Sections. The program typically runs fro January to April. If you have any questions about the program, please contact Daniel Jacobs at email@example.com