Academics Students

LHWHS Student to Compete for Spot on U.S. Chemistry Olympiad Team

Stock photo of beakers filled with brightly-colored liquids.

ST. LOUIS, May 10, 2012 — National chemistry champion Runpeng Liu has qualified to compete for one of four spots on the U.S. team bound for the 44th annual International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO). A sophomore at Ladue Horton Watkins High School, he is one of only 20 students nation-wide invited to a two-week intensive study camp at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado.

The competition to be part of the international event is fierce, beginning with a three-part exam taken by 12,000 high school students in the U.S. Runpeng’s performance on this exam, along with teacher recommendations, resulted in 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 20 top and next he will be heading to the study camp being held June 5-20.

During the camp, Runpeng will receive college-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.

This year, for the first time since 1992, the U.S. will host the International Chemistry Olympiad, to be held July 21-30, at the University of Maryland, College Park. ACS is the official organizer and The Dow Chemical Company is the official sponsor of the overall international event.

“The students who compete in the IChO are the brightest minds in chemistry,” says ACS president Bassam Shakhashiri. “These young people are the ones who will make the discoveries that shape our future by curing disease, addressing climate change, feeding our rapidly expanding population and much more.”

“At Dow, with more than 100 years of investment in STEM education programs, we know that innovation begins not only in the classroom but also in personal imagination,” said Bo Miller, Global Director for Corporate Citizenship for The Dow Chemical Company and President and Executive Director of The Dow Chemical Company Foundation. “We are excited to use the 44th International Chemistry Olympiad as an opportunity to engage and inspire bright young scientists from across the globe to pursue careers in chemistry as a means of creating solutions to challenges that affect our planet, our communities and improve the human condition.”


 The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With more than 164,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.