Issue Date: July 30, 2007
China Dominates Chemistry Olympiad
China took top honors at the 39th International Chemistry Olympiad, which was held in Moscow on July 15-24. The Russian Federation placed second, followed by Poland. Each member of the U.S. team earned a medal.
All four members of the Chinese team took home gold medals; team member Lei Xu received the top gold medal. China has placed first for the past five years, except in 2005, when the country did not participate.
The teams from Russia and Poland each earned four gold medals this year. The U.S. team received three silver medals and a bronze.
Each participating team consisted of four high school students selected in a highly competitive process.
More than 200 high school students from 66 countries participated in this year's competition. Olympiad organizers awarded a total of 31 gold medals, 56 silver medals, and 71 bronze medals. Students were ranked according to their scores on theoretical and practical exams. The students also participated in cultural activities and visited local attractions.
"We are very pleased," wrote John C. Kotz, head mentor for the U.S. team and emeritus professor of chemistry at the State University of New York, Oneonta, in his daily blog (www.usnco2007.blogspot.com) about the progress of the delegation. "This is the same performance as the U.S. teams in the past two competitions and extends our record of having all members of the team receive a medal."
U.S. students who won silver medals are Kenneth Brewer, of Provo, Utah; Justin Koh, of Bakersfield. Calif.; and Brian Lee, of Franklin Lakes, N.J. Sofia Izmailov, of Plainsboro, N.J., earned a bronze medal. The students were selected after a two-week study camp in June at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Brewer, Izmailov, and Lee graduated from high school this year and plan to major in chemistry in the fall when they start at Harvard, Princeton, and MIT, respectively. Koh, who graduates from high school next year, plans on majoring in biochemistry.
The next Chemistry Olympiad will be held on July 12-21, 2008, in Budapest.
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