Macon Middle School eighth grader, Lexi Kloeppel, won first place for the state of North Carolina at the Chemical Education Foundation's You Be The Chemist (YBTC) state science competition held in Charlotte, on Saturday, April 2.
She is the first North Carolina competitor to win the state competition three consecutive years. She will receive an all expense paid trip to Philadelphia, Pa. to represent the state of North Carolina at the national competition on June 20.
At the national competition she will be competing for more than $10,000 in prizes. Last year at nationals, Kloeppel was the third runner up and won $500 in addition to other prizes. The You Be The Chemist (YBTC) Challenge is a fun and innovative academic competition that engages 5th-8th grade students in the science of chemistry.
The Chemical Education Foundation (CEF) is a nationally recognized, non-profit organization that is dedicated to enhancing grade K-8 students’ exposure to science by emphasizing the central role of chemistry in everyday life. The YBTC participants receive a study guide prior to the competition, but questions are not limited to the guide. Topics for this year’s competition included scientific method, measurement, matter, atomic structure, laboratory equipment, and safety. The YBTC challenge participants verbally answer numerous science questions.
At the national competition in Philadelphia, Kloeppel will be responsible for verbally answering questions from the state/local competition in addition to more advanced topics for the national level. The topics included in the national competition are solutions, acids, bases, pH, organic chemistry, and applications of chemistry in everyday life. In Philadelphia, students from grades 5-8 will come from around the country to participate in two days of activities, sight-seeing, and another academic YBTC challenge.