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2024 Team USA announced to participate in International Chemistry Olympiad

Four student representatives were announced at an awards banquet held at the University of Maryland following a 2-week study camp

by Sara Cottle
June 18, 2024 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 102, Issue 19


A group of six students with medals around their necks pose for a photo. There are five boys and one girl.
Credit: Sofia Dragoti
From left: Yash Shah, Yunyi Ling, Yufei Chen, Alice Liu, Anant Asthana, and Aaron Wang will represent the US at the 56th International Chemistry Olympiad.

The team that will represent the US at the 56th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), to be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, July 21–30, was announced at an awards banquet held at the University of Maryland in College Park on Friday, June 14.

The 2024 team will consist of Anant Asthana from John Foster Dulles High School in Texas, Yufei Chen from University High School in California, Yunyi Ling from Montgomery Blair High School in Maryland, and Alice Liu from Marquette High School in Missouri. Aaron Wang from Conestoga High School in Pennsylvania was named as first alternate, and Yash Shah from Panther Creek High School in North Carolina was named as second alternate.

The US team will be accompanied by head mentor Laura Serbulea of the University of Virginia; college mentor Songwen Xie of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences; and two high school mentors, Komal Jain from Lake Braddock Secondary School and Steve Lantos from Brookline High School.

Before the announcement, these students participated in a 20-person study camp hosted at the University of Maryland from June 2 to 15. This year was Anant Asthana’s third year at the camp. He noted the rigor as one of the major challenges in the study camp. “People come to the camp, and they see others who are as good as them or better—and that discourages them from pushing themselves because they don’t feel they have a chance at making the team,” Asthana says. “But if anything, I’ve learned from this year’s experience that you never know the future until it actually happens. And the best thing you can do is push yourself and see where you can go instead of setting your own limits.”

The students are there to compete, but that’s not all. “They have so much more. So much affection for each other, and they support each other in all possible ways. So while it is, it doesn’t even look like a competition. They just enjoy each other, whether it is chemistry or just hanging out,” says Komal Jain.

IChO is the final tier in the four-tier program known in the US as the US National Chemistry Olympiad, which has been sponsored by the American Chemical Society since 1984. The students who have made it onto the team representing the US at IChO were among over 9,000 students who have taken two examinations since March to qualify at the local and national levels before being selected for the study camp.

At IChO, the US team will compete with teams of students from over 80 other nations. The secondary school students will partake in one 5-hour laboratory practical examination and one 5-hour written examination.

Alice Liu, who is a senior this year and plans to attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, participated in last year’s International Olympiad and won a silver medal.

“I think one of my most memorable parts was talking to those people [from other countries around the globe] and learning more about their languages, their games, and their culture . . . that was really special, as well as making new friends,” Liu says.

The mentors are excited to exchange ideas with fellow mentors and learn what students from other countries are most curious about. Mentors are responsible for discussing and determining the questions and composition of the two qualifying exams. Serbulea has a piece of advice for future Olympians: “I would say keep trying—never give up. Participate. Participation is the first step towards success. You will always be learning something new, and that will enrich you no matter what.”

You can learn more about IChO 2024 by visiting and the US National Chemistry Olympiad by visiting


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