For Immediate Release
July 20, 2012
Contacts: Neil Tickner, 301 405 4622 or email@example.com
O'Malley and UMD To Open International Olympics for Young Chemists
Gov. Keynotes as World's Best High Schoolers Compete, July 22
Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley will keynote at opening ceremonies of the prestigious International Chemical Olympiad at the University of Maryland, Sunday July 22 - the first time the event has been held in the United States in 20 years.
The competition pits the very best high school chemistry students from nearly 70 countries in a practical laboratory challenge and written exam. Up to four students from each country are chosen through a series of national competitions.
The event is organized by the American Chemical Society and hosted by the University of Maryland, which has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars in faculty support and in-kind services to the competition. Most events will take place at various UMD sites, including its suite of chemistry labs, throughout the week-long competition. Closing ceremonies will be held Sunday July 29.
"The preparation, dedication and level of challenge that goes into this competition is truly of an Olympic character," says Michael P. Doyle, who chairs the University of Maryland Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry and co-chaired the scientific steering committee that devised the questions. "I promise you that college students and even faculty would be challenged by the tests and laboratory work we're asking of these high school students."
His co-chair on the scientific steering committee, Andrei Vedernikov, a UMD chemistry professor, competed as a Russian high school student 34 years ago, winning a gold medal. "This was a turning point for me," Vedernikov remembers. "It's where I decided how I could best contribute to science."
The hosts note that Chemistry is a particularly vital field in terms of scientific research and national competitiveness, since it is a fundamental component of so many other disciplines, with wide applications in areas such as pharmaceuticals, energy research, and climate change, for example.
Opening ceremonies: Sunday, July 22, 2012, 10 a.m. till approx. 11:30 a.m.
Dekelboum Concert Hall, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center
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