IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Three students from Irvington Middle School were named top chemists in the state after placing first, second and third at the New York State You Be the Chemist Challenge, held April 16 at the BASF Research and Development Facility in Tarrytown.
Seventh-grader Henry Demarest won first place, while eighth-graders Rishit Gupta and Zachary Rosman were named runner-up and second runner-up, respectively. As the state champion, Demarest will receive an all-expense-paid trip to Philadelphia to represent the state at the National Challenge on June 20.
“To prepare for this incredible event, you have to be intelligent, interested in the topics and areas of study, and disciplined enough to study and prepare on your own using a series of study materials put out by the competition,” middle school teacher Philip Levine said.
The competition, which is sponsored by the international chemical company BASF, featured a variety of challenging science questions with a focus on chemistry, the scientific method and lab safety.
Along with the three boys, sixth-grader Chloe Banino and seventh-grader Eesha Thaker competed at the state competition after qualifying for it based on their performance at the Westchester regional competition in March. Seventh-grader Killian Daly also competed at the regional competition.
“I can’t think of six more qualified, motivated and impressive middle schoolers than the six representatives from Irvington,” Levine said. “The fact that five of them were able to advance to the state finals and then three of them placed first, second and third says so much about these youngsters. We are so fortunate to be able to share in their successes and accomplishments.”
This was Demarest’s second appearance at the competition after being named runner-up at last year’s state challenge. It was Gupta’s and Rosman’s third appearance at the competition. The three students will be honored at an upcoming Board of Education meeting.
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