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Two Hendrick Hudson Students Head To State-Level Chemist Challenge

The six Blue Mountain Middle School students who participated in the You Be The Chemist Challenge on the local level.
The six Blue Mountain Middle School students who participated in the You Be The Chemist Challenge on the local level. Photo Credit: Contributed

CORTLANDT, N.Y. -- Blue Mountain Middle School students Aiden Brenenan-Pennas and James Reilly are moving on to state-level competition in the Chemical Education Foundation’s (CEF) You Be the Chemist (YBTC) Challenge.

The two students, representing Hendrick Hudson School District, will be joining 10 other students, representing schools in Scarsdale, Peekskill, Irvington and Binghamton, at the state competition on April 16 at BASF Corporation’s headquarters in Tarrytown.

The YBTC Challenge is an interactive academic competition that engages students in grades 5 through 8 in learning with their peers about important chemistry concepts, scientific discoveries and laboratory safety.

Students were chosen to participate in the state competition based on their scores on a qualifying exam developed by the CEF.

Winners at the state level advance to the National Challenge on June 19 in Philadelphia. In addition to Brenenan-Pennas and Reilly, Blue Mountain students Adhithya Rojasekar, Daniel Fitzmaurice, Cameron Montalbano and Vanessa Rossi participated in the YBTC Local Challenge at BASF Research Laboratories in Tarrytown.

The challenge was brought to the Hen Hud district by representatives of the Peekskill site of BASF, the world’s leading chemical company. 

BASF’s Peekskill site supports the Hen Hud district in many ways, including participation in the Project Lead the Way Partnership Team that oversees its biomedical and engineering courses at the high school.

BASF also awards an annual scholarship to a graduating high School senior and brings BASF Kids’ Lab, a program that uses hands-on experiments to build interest in science, to Blue Mountain Middle School.

"These students set a goal for themselves which they met,” said Assistant Principal Anecia Bell- Jefferson, who accompanied the Blue Mountain participants to the local challenge. “It is always a pleasure to work with such dedicated students and supportive parents."

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