Dow’s top Chemist competition sending two winners to state

Students say they’re ready for the challenge

Zachary Jaubert is still glowing about the IPad Mini he won as the grand champion of Dow’s St. Charles Parish “You Be the Chemist Challenge” and he’s equally thrilled over winning a competition he didn’t think he’d win.

But then again, Jaubert is practical about his first-place victory.

“It’s important because getting there means you get to learn more about science and STEM,” said the student at St. Charles Borromeo School in Destrehan. “Dow has done a lot for our school so it was great to participate and support them.”

Jaubert’s win represents a battle of the nerds.

It’s quite cool now to say more than 100 parents, teachers, students and community members gathered in the boardroom on Feb. 2 at the St. Charles Parish Public School Main office for the third annual parish-wide challenge.

Of this total, 19 of them were students in sixth through eighth grade who competed against each other in numerous rounds of multiple choice questions that tested their knowledge of chemistry concepts, significant discoveries and chemical safety.

After seven rounds of competition, Jaubert took first place followed by Gage Fleming, student at J.B. Martin Middle School in Paradis, in second place, and Conner Myers, also a student at St. Charles Borromeo as second place runner-up.Jaubert and Fleming are going to the state challenge, which will be held at Louisiana State University on April 16. The winner of this competition will go to the national challenge in Philadelphia, Penn., in June, and compete scholarships that will go to first- through fourth-place winners.

Dow sponsors the academic competition created by the Chemical Educational Foundation. It aims to engage middle-school students in chemistry through competition.

“The Challenge exposes students to the fascinating world of chemistry as it applies to their everyday lives, allowing them to gain a greater appreciation of how chemistry and chemicals will continue to shape their world,” said Jordan Tremblay, public affairs manager at Dow’s St. Charles Operations. “Additionally, linking industry, educators, and students together not only builds stronger community relationships but also highlights the importance of science education in an informal and celebratory manner.  Dow is proud to be the supporter of this event for the third year in a row.”

“I am nervous because the questions will be a lot harder,” Jaubert said of the state competition.

Gage said he’s confident in himself and his ability to do well on the next level.

Myers was disappointed in making second runner up, which was the second year of finishing in the top three in the local competition. But Myers also welcomed meeting students from other middle schools.

Of his local win, Gage said he felt great about his hard work finally paying off.

“The questions were challenging, but not too difficult, which made me more comfortable,” he said. “The pizza was really good. Dow had cool gifts for the students.”

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