International Chemistry Olympiad
International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO)
A competition for youth, focusing on various topics from the world of chemistry.
The Olympiad brings together the best of the world’s young chemists, providing them with inspiring social and cultural activity, in the hope that ties of friendship and work connections will be formed among the scientists of the future from across the world.
The members of the Olympiad team need to demonstrate understanding in chemistry at the highest level; be able to connect the various fields of chemistry and daily life; apply creative thinking; and prove their ability to perform in the laboratory on a high level.
The first Chemistry Olympiad for youth was held in Prague (in the then Czechoslovakia) in 1968, with most of the participation being by young people from the Baltic states. In 2018, it is expected that 83 countries from all over the world will be represented.
The activities of the Israel Chemistry Team take place at the Faculty of Chemistry within the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology.
The Chemistry Olympiad for 2018 will be held on 19-29 July, in Slovakia and Czechia.
The aims of the team are to generate interest in Chemistry through independent, creative problem solving; development of skills that will help the students succeed in the competition and subsequently in the academic world; learning at a high academic level, and encouragement of the selection of Chemistry as a significant future occupation; and increase in the number of students taking part in scientific activity in Chemistry at the highest level.
The activity is divided into two parts:
Chemiada – the National Chemistry Olympiad
The aim of the activity is to attract students to the field of chemistry at school, and to discover outstanding skills that would form the basis for membership in the Israeli team for the International Chemistry Olympiad.
The International Chemistry Olympiad
The aim of the Olympiad is to encourage students to choose chemistry research and to turn to research carried out at institutions of higher learning in Israel, as a significant occupation in the future; to assist in forming ties and friendships among young chemists from all over the world; and to allow students to test their knowledge of chemistry in comparison with that of other outstanding students from around the world. the competition is held every year in a different host country. The delegation to the international competition comprises up to 4 students. The students compete individually, and there is no overall ranking of countries.
Chemiada – Selection Phases
The principal track is intended for students in 11th and 12th grades
This stage is a test administered in the schools, which includes questions in various areas of chemistry. The top 10% in stage 1 are invited to participate in stage 2 of the
This stage is held at the Technion, in Haifa, and includes a test, a lecture accompanied by demonstrations, and a tour of the Faculty of Chemistry’s research laboratories.
About 30 of the students who excel at this stage will go on to the national finals.
National Finals Stage
The finals are held over two days, and comprise three parts: competitive, scientific and social.
The competitive portion comprises a test on a level approaching that of the tests at the International Olympiad, as well as a laboratory exercise and lecture by each student, on a topic that he chooses. The lectures are presented to and graded by the academic staff, and are open to the public. The scientific portion comprises 2-3 lectures by members of the staff of the Technion’s Faculty of Chemistry.
The top four students from this track will join the Israeli team for the International Olympiad for that year.
The secondary track is for students in grades 9 and 10.
This stage is administered in the schools, and includes a multiple-choice test in various areas of chemistry.
This stage is held at the Technion, and comprises tests, a tour of the laboratories, and lectures.
About 15-20 outstanding students in the Chemiada will make up the basis for the reserve team for the International Chemistry Olympiad for the coming years.
The International Team – Composition and Activity
The International Team for the Chemistry Olympiad is comprised of students from these groups: the reserve team, the 11th and 12th grade team, and students with outstanding skills who have been identified during the year.
The team’s activity includes weekly practice sessions at the Technion, and three training camps during the year.
Each of the weekly training sessions includes lectures, practice exercises, quizzes and laboratories. Members of the team are given a weekly exercise that they need to solve and submit. After these have been checked thoroughly, and explanations given, the students receive the solutions.
The training camps include overnight accommodation, and include individual and group meetings, in small groups, lectures by members of the team, and laboratory experience.
As part of their preparation for competition on the highest international level, the team participates in preliminary competitions, also on the international level. Participation in these competitions allows the members of the team to test their knowledge and ability in comparison with students from other countries; to practice being tested under competition conditions; and to feel the special atmosphere of an international competition in chemistry.
International Mendeleev Olympiad – This competition, named for Dmitri Mendeleev, the creator of the periodic table, is considered as one of the best preliminary competitions in the world, and as one that provides an accurate prediction of achievements in the International Chemistry Olympiad.
The International Mendeleev Olympiad in Chemistry includes a theoretical examination and a laboratory test. It has been held annually for the past 51 years, generally in one of the former Soviet Union countries, with participation by competitors from 22 countries.
The Mendeleev Olympiad in Chemistry for 2018 was held in Minsk, Belarus, on 22-29 April.