IRVINGTON, N.Y. -- Irvington Middle School students worked with local chemists Shakir Ratani, Jennifer Jaitzig and Steve Guo on Wednesday, Jan. 21, in a hands-on science event that allowed students to make hypotheses, solve problems and learn more about chemistry.
The experience was organized and developed by Irvington Middle School science teacher Philip Levine, along with the visiting chemists.
Students explored a variety of concepts, including changing states of matter, properties of dry ice, microorganisms and bacteria, and absorbency. The three chemists answered students' questions about their backgrounds and why they became chemists.
During the past two years, the Irvington Middle School science department has developed a strong rapport with the BASF Chemical Company, one of today’s largest chemical companies in the world, which focuses on environmental protection.
For the second consecutive year, all Irvington Middle School students were given the opportunity to qualify for the New York State You Be the Chemist Challenge. The national chemistry challenge, co-sponsored by BASF and modeled after the Scripps National Spelling Bee, incorporates chemistry concepts, science lab safety and general science theory into a qualifying exam.
Nearly 90 students in grades six through eight took the “challenge” and prepared for the 50-question qualifying exam, which was given on Friday, Jan. 20, in science classes.
Six students advanced to the first round of the competition: Henry Demarest, Rishit Gupta, Aayushi Jha, Rishikesh Madabhushi, Zachary Rosman and Julia Sabatino. They will compete in the next round on Saturday, March 14, with the goal of advancing to the state finals.
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