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home : news : local   May 25, 2016

2/14/2013 6:23:00 PM
Area students fare well in chemistry challenge

NT Staff

Results are in from the Grundy County and La Salle County competitions for the ninth annual “You Be the Chemist Challenge,” which was Monday in Seneca.

Winners and runner-ups from eight area middle schools plus two downstate open registration students competed on the two county teams together and separately.
Open registration students were new this year and had qualified through a test in January among 30 students throughout the state. Two of the three winners were sent to the Grundy/La Salle site and assigned to a county. Each of them won first place for their county team even though they are not local.

The winners are:
La Salle County Team — first place, Esther Mathew, sixth grade, Dunlap Middle School; second place, Michael Cuevas, eighth grade, Oglesby Washington Junior High; third place, Grant Granby, eighth grade, Seneca Elementary; Alternate, Jordan Veracini, eighth grade, Oglesby Washington Junior High
Grundy County team — first place, Krishi Korrapati, eighth grade, Franklin Middle School, Springfield; second place, place, Jared Roth, eighth grade, Saratoga Middle School, Morris; and third place, Eden Dennis, eighth grade, Mazon/Verona/Kinsman Elementary; alternate, Cal Smolik, eighth grade, Coal City Middle School
Also involved were Oglesby school, alternate Laura Agostino; Peru Parkside’s top finishers in the school event, respectively, Alexa Dawson, Gina Henkel and Travis Camp; Waltham schools’ top finishers, respectively, Nic Bollis, Matthew Adams and Owen Stoneking; and Seneca’s Jamie Goslin and Sean Baker.

Several area companies are the local contest sponsors of the contest, namely Air Products & Chemicals, AkzoNobel Surface Chemistry, Aux Sable Liquids, Carus Corp., Exelon-Dresden Station, Flint Hills Resources, LyondellBasell, and PQ Corporation. Several of the companies sponsor other local and state levels as well as the national contest which is in Philadelphia in June.

Prizes at the competition were a Kindle Fire for the winners and a $50 gift card for the runner ups of each county. First- through fourth-place county winners received medallions. In addition, all contestants took home a $25 gift certificate and a bag of various donated items from Aux Sable Liquids, Exelon-Dresden Station, Flint Hills Resources and AkzoNobel. Previously at the school level of the competition, the first place winner won a laptop, and the second place student won a $50 gift certificate. All school level participants (600 from this region) will also win token gifts.

Roth and Granby competed at the state level last year after all three competed at the regional. All three top winners of each county will now advance to state level, and the alternates will compete in a play in round for four open spots at the state contest April 27.

Because this contest was an outreach project of the La Salle/ Peru/ Utica Community Advisory Panel, judges are from one of the CAPs of the sponsoring companies. Judges for the night were professor Bob Byrne (head judge and member of the LaSalle/Peru/Utica CAP), Tom Willeford (AkzoNobel Engineer and AkzoNobel CAP member), and CAP members Jo Ann Hustis (AkzoNobel CAP), Joan Soltwisch (AkzoNobel & LyondellBasell CAPs) and Kim Goffinet (LyondellBasell CAP).

Longtime reader for the event was Fran Ogden, Seneca High School.
Opening comments were made by state Sen. Sue Rezin of the 38th District and state Rep. Pam Roth, whose son, Jared, was a contestant.

YBTCC teachers there to cheer their students on were Glen Flodstrom, Oglesby Washington; Gina Piatak, Coal City; Darcy Welsh, Mazon; Sally Readle, Minooka; Sherri Pannier, dean of students, Parkside Middle School (Peru), and principal Shane Severson of Seneca Elementary.

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