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Saturday, September 23, 2023


Students compete in chemistry-themed spelling bee

Students attempted to out-spell each other Tuesday, but they were more likely to find themselves searching for the “Y” in Alcindoromycine than the correct spelling of Laodicean in a spelling bee that was part of National Chemistry Week.

Chemical engineering junior Clint Kirchhoff won the competition, walking away with a certificate and a Coby Kyros tablet.

“Over the summer I developed a huge enthusiasm for organic chemistry, so I started reading a lot about it on my own, so that’s how I picked up on a lot of the spelling,” said Kirchhoff.

Entirely run by the American Chemical Society, the spelling bee was open to all students, and challenged competitors on the spelling of chemistry terms ranging from simple elements to long compounds.

“The American Chemical Society has a mission of supporting the community, here and over the city, and just loving the chemical sciences and supporting education…as well as just loving our university in general,” said ACS President Riley Hatch, a biology and chemistry senior.

Biology sophomore Nancy Shenoi cam respectively e in second and biology junior Brandon Nguyen came in third. They received a camera and iPod Shuffle,. The three runner-ups received Chili’s gift cards.

National Chemistry Week began Monday with the visit of a Green chemist — who hosted an open lecture on the topic of green chemical studies — and continued through the week with the spelling bee and “Wear Your Lab Coat Day,” where students wore their lab coats to classes. The week will culminate Friday, when volunteers hand out periodic table themed-cupcakes to organic chemistry students studying for their second test of the term.

Both Kirchhoff and Nguyen helped throughout the week through tutoring and volunteering their time.

“I intend to help tutor for Organic Chemistry 1, which are (Wednesday) and Thursday, and I also helped reserve the kitchen used to bake periodic table cupcakes, which are going to be distributed to the Organic 1 students before their exam on Friday,” said Kirchhoff.

Hatch said he hopes the week’s events will be utilized by more than just chemistry students.

“It’s not just for scientists; liberal arts majors and all sorts of people are welcome to attend and enjoy the festivities we have,” said Hatch.

“We’re just really glad to be a part of the Cougar family and we hope to get out there and to have a lot of fun this week with our entire community.”

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