New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas teens head to International Chemistry Olympiad competition; Indiana, Oklahoma students named alternates

June 28, 2001

Four of the nation's top high school chemistry students will represent the U.S. team in the 33rd International Chemistry Olympiad to be held in Mumbai, India, July 6-15. They will pit their science skills against students from about 50 other countries for the top prizes of gold, silver and bronze medals. The U.S. Chemistry Olympiad team is sponsored by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

The U.S. team has been a strong competitor at the international event. Members of the American team have won the top gold medal at the Olympiad each of the last two years. The 1999 U.S. team garnered "best in the world" status with three gold medals -- including the top gold -- and one silver.

The crux of the Olympiad competition is a rigorous five-hour exam on chemistry theory, accompanied by another five hours of laboratory experiments and procedures in which the students must demonstrate their proficiency. The examinations are designed at the mid-college level to purposely challenge the high school students.

The four students -- from Rochester, N.Y., Tulsa, Okla., Signal Mountain, Tenn., and Houston, Texas -- and 16 other students from around the nation spent two weeks in June at a chemistry training camp at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo. More than 10,000 high school students nationwide took local exams vying for a chance at one of the 20 slots.

During the two week camp, the students received college-level training, with an emphasis on organic chemistry, through a series of lectures, problem-solving exercises, lab work and testing. At the conclusion, the four-member U.S. team and two alternates were selected to participate in the international contest.

The International Chemistry Olympiad originated with Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary in 1968. Other eastern European countries soon joined the event, and western Europe began participating in 1974. The first U.S. team competed in 1984, winning one silver and two bronze medals.

The American Chemical Society has sponsored the American team annually since the U.S. joined the Olympiad. Principal funding is through the Society's Othmer Olympiad Endowment, with additional support from the U.S. Air Force Academy, IBM Research, Merck Publishing Group, Texas Instruments, Inc., W.H. Freeman & Company, McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc., Advanced Chemistry Development and Harcourt College Publishers.

The four-member team and two alternates:

Sean Kedrowski, Signal Mountain, Tenn. -- A recent graduate and valedictorian of Baylor High School in Chattanooga, Kedrowski will study chemistry at Duke University in the fall. He was a member of Baylor's Chemistry Olympiad team his junior and senior years, and earned an unprecedented perfect score last year. He also participated in last year's Chemistry Olympiad study camp. His activities and honors include: varsity swim team, National Honor Society, National Merit Scholar, Student Congress, Science Club, and debate team. He is an Eagle Scout and has served as a peer tutor, cross country coach and Sunday school teacher. Sean is the son of Cindy and James Kedrowski.

Binghai Ling, Rochester, N.Y. -- A recent graduate of Brighton High School, Ling will attend the California Institute of Technology in the fall. A participant in last year's Chemistry Olympiad study camp, his activities include: captain of the Math Team, co-captain and treasurer of the Science Olympiad team, web-page manager for the school newspaper, vice president of the Future Business Leaders of America, and Model United Nations. He participated in the USA Mathematics Olympiad, the American Regional Mathematics League (received team high scorer), the NY State Mathematics League (received team high scorer, and 2-time individual high scorer) and was a two-time semifinalist in the Physics Olympiad. A National Merit Commended Student, Ling plans to attend medical school or graduate school after college. Binghai is the son of Wenzhong Ling and Xiazhen Lou.

Collin Martin, Tulsa, Okla. -- A recent graduate of the Oklahoma School of Science and Math in Oklahoma City, Martin will study chemical engineering at the University of Oklahoma in the fall. His activities and honors include: soccer, National Merit Finalist, State Regents Scholarship, and Mathematics League. He volunteers at the St. John Medical Center and is a member of Trinity Episcopal Church, both in Tulsa. Collin is the son of Jack and Linda Martin.

Albert Wang, Houston, Texas -- A recent graduate of Bellaire High School in Bellaire, Texas, Wang will study chemistry at Harvard University in the fall. He is the only team member to compete at the International Chemistry Olympiad last year, where he earned a bronze medal. His activities and honors include: Science Fair, Mu Alpha Theta (Math Honor Society), a writer for the Maple Street Journal, National Merit Scholar, Semifinalist for the U.S. Physics Team, first place in the UIL Texas State Science competition. He also plays the piano, tutors students and works as a volunteer. Albert is the son of Keh-Han Wang and Chii-Wen Lii.

Andrew Chi, Terre Haute, Ind., alternate -- A recent graduate of South Vigo High School in Terre Haute, Chi will study chemistry and physics at Harvard University in the fall. A participant in last year's Chemistry Olympiad study camp, Chi's many honors include: Presidential Scholar, Siemens-Westinghouse Advanced Placement Award (placed first in the U.S. and earned an $8,000 scholarship), USA-Today All-Star Academic Teams: 2nd Team, National Merit Finalist, and Intel Science Talent Search 2001, national semifinalist. Chi plays the violin and piano and enjoys tennis and running. Andrew is the son of Henjin and Yuli Lo Chi

Jonathan Choi, Tulsa, Okla., alternate -- A recent graduate of the Oklahoma School of Science and Math in Oklahoma City, Choi will attend the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the fall. His activities and honors include: varsity swim team (all-state team), captain of the ultimate Frisbee team, President's National Fitness Award, student council, National Merit Finalist, State Regents Scholarship, and all-state band qualifier. He also plays the violin and trumpet and has traveled on medical missionary trips to countries such as Nepal, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Slovakia, and Honduras. Jonathan is the son of Chisoo and Yoonyee Choi.

American Chemical Society

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