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Scarsdale Graduate Headed For Chemistry Olympiad

SCARSDALE, N.Y. – A recent Scarsdale High School graduate will serve as an alternate team member for the United States at the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in July at the University of Maryland.

Andrew Guo is one of the final six chemists chosen to represent his country at the IChO. He will be one of two alternates for the U.S. team, which will compete with teams from more than 70 other countries, each vying for the gold medal.

“I think this is really just the pinnacle of all the stuff I’ve worked for,” Guo said after being chosen as one of the final six. “When I was standing on stage and she handed me the gold medal, my mind went blank and I couldn’t comprehend it.”

According to the American Chemical Society, the competition for spots on the U.S. team was fierce. More than 14,000 chemistry students took a rigorous exam for the last spring. A thousand of those students moved on to the national exam for the Chemistry Olympiad.

The 20 students with the highest scores then traveled to the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., where they attended an intensive study camp. The top 20 competed with each other to be named to the final six. On Tuesday, the final two team members and two alternates were selected.

Guo said he has faith in the team that has been put together to represent the United States.

“This year we have a good contingent. There is a lot of potential,” he said. “Hopefully we can pull it together in the next month and come to the international competition in [Washington] D.C. and just sweep it.”

In a press release, American Chemical Society President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri said that this is an especially important year for the team, because it is only the second time the IChO will be held on American soil.

“It’s a great honor for us to be the host country for the Olympics of the mind, especially at a time when a scientifically trained work force is so critical to our future,” he said.

Guo said chemistry is something that is important to his entire family.

“My father’s grandparents were chemists,” he said. “They really instilled in me a sense of awe and amazement about what chemistry can do.”

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