NJ, PA, ND students named to US chemistry olympiad team

Four of the nation's top high school chemistry students two from New Jersey, one each from North Dakota and Pennsylvania -- have been chosen to represent the United States in the 38th annual International Chemistry Olympiad in Gyeongsan, Republic of Korea, July 2-11, 2006. They will compete with students from 68 other countries in the event, sponsored by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

The four team members are:

Andrew Freddo, Colts Neck, N.J., Manalapan High School
Alex Zozula, East Brunswick, N.J., East Brunswick High School
Michael Blaisse, Harrisburg, Pa., Bishop McDevitt High School
Greg Brockman, Grand Forks, N.D., Red River High School

Freddo and Blaisse were alternates to the team in 2005.

This year's two alternates are:

Xiaoran (Taylor) Yi, San Diego, Calif., Westview High School
Sydney Creutz, Charlottesville, Va., Albemarle High School

"We're very proud of the students selected for the U.S. team. We send them with high hopes, and are encouraged because they represent the future of chemistry and science -- bright minds, collaborating to solve problems, willing to lead with innovation and new ideas," said E. Ann Nalley, Ph.D., ACS President.

More than 10,000 high school students nationwide took local exams hoping to win a place on the Olympiad team. From those exams, 20 students were selected to participate at a June study camp, held at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado. The 20 finalists at the study camp received college-level training, with an emphasis on organic chemistry, through a series of lectures, problem-solving exercises, lab work and testing. The final team members and alternates were chosen from those attending the camp.

Roxie Allen, a chemistry teacher at St. John's School, Houston, Texas, and John Kotz , Ph.D., Distinguished Teaching Professor, Emeritus, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, State University of New York, Oneonta, N.Y, will serve as mentors for the U.S. team and accompany the students to the competition in Korea.

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.

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The American Chemical Society has sponsored the American team annually since the United States 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; Thomson, Bruce/Cole; Carolina Biological Supply Company; Flinn Scientific, Inc.; Fisher Scientific; Pearson Prentice Hall; Sigma Chemical Company; and John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

The American Chemical Society -- the world's largest scientific society -- is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

Additional information about the team members and photos may be obtained from the contact person on this release.


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