Science Club Hosts Chemistry Olympiad

Science Club hosted the Chemistry Olympiad (CO) to promote scientific thinking and education to MHS students, according to Science Club Vice President Forrest Tran. It was held in Science Club Advisor Karen Truesdell’s classroom, L-44 on Wednesday, March 12 after school, Tran said.

CO is an international competition students individually qualify for based on how well they do on the test, according to Tran. There are multiple rounds to qualify for the state, national, and international levels, Tran said.

“CO is like the Olympics, only for Chemistry,” Tran said. “The first round is the preliminary round to qualify for the state level. I believe 18 students are chosen from California for the state level,” Tran added.

Science Club was in charge of contacting the headquarters of the CO to host the exam, according to Science Club President Ivy Pham. The club has also participated in the Biology Olympiad and Physics Olympiad, Pham said.

“We e-mail the regional coordinators to let them know we want to participate,” Pham said. “This year and last year, we had the bio, physics, and chemistry Olympiads.”

The officers of Science Club do most of the work to host the Olympiads, Truesdell admitted. She supports their decisions because she sees the enjoyment and benefits that come out of the CO.

“CO is definitely not an obligation for students,” Truesdell said, “If you succeed, you not only get to compete in the state, national, and/or international levels. You also have chances to win scholarships.”

Students who participate in the Olympiads usually do so for practice or enjoyment, Science Club Secretary Lidia Kuo said. It is convenient for those planning to master the scientific fields of study, according to Kuo.

“I took it last year,” Kuo said. “I love chemistry, so I took the test for my enjoyment. It happened to conveniently connect to AP Chem.”

A fee of one dollar was charged for those who decided to take the exam, Pham said. Any student from MHS was eligible to participate, according to Pham.

“Anybody can take the exam, but it is useful for students enrolled in AP Chemistry,” Pham said. “It’s a good preparation for the upcoming AP exam.”

No student from MHS has succeeded in qualifying to at least the state level, Tran said. However, the science club has hope for the future, especially because this is only the second year the Olympiads have been offered to the MHS students, according to Tran.

“No one made it to the state level,” Tran said. “A few of us were really close, though. Lidia and I were barely cut off.”

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