National chemistry whiz Kevin Gao has qualified to compete for one of four spots on the U.S. team bound for the 45th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), to be held this year in Moscow, Russia, July 15-24.
The announcement was made by the American Chemical Society.
Gso is a senior at Los Alamos High School. He will spend two weeks at an intensive chemistry study camp at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado and at the conclusion, the top four students will be named as members of the team.
“I am very excited about camp and grateful to ACS for this opportunity,” Gao said.
The competition to be part of the international event is fierce, beginning with a three-part exam taken by at least 12,000 high school students in the U.S. His performance on this exam earned him the opportunity to take the National Chemistry Olympiad test. Out of more than 1,000 of the nation’s brightest chemistry students who took the national test, he advanced to the top 20 and next he will attend the study camp June 4-19.
During the camp, Gao will receive college and graduate-level training, with an emphasis on organic chemistry, through a series of lectures, problem-solving exercises, lab work and testing.
At the camp’s conclusion, four students will be chosen to represent the U.S. at the International Chemistry Olympiad where they will compete with their peers from more than 70 nations for gold, silver and bronze medals.
The American Chemical Society has sponsored the American team annually since the United States joined the Olympiad.