NJIT Hosts 17th Annual Chemistry Olympics

NEWARK, May 17- New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) recently proudly sponsored the university's 17th annual chemistry olympics. The olympics is the only event of its kind held in New Jersey focusing on chemistry. Events included student presentations of oral and written reports completed prior to the event, experiments in electrochemistry, a spelling bee for chemical compounds, on-site labs, demonstrations by professors and industrial chemists from throughout the state and more.

NJIT professors started the olympics more than a decade ago to make learning chemistry more fun for New Jersey high school students. "It's rewarding to impart knowledge to the next generation and see the students' positive reactions," says NJIT Chemistry Professor James M. Grow.

This year 300 students from 19 New Jersey high schools participated in at least six of the ten events. Corporate New Jersey donors and the North Jersey local section of the American Chemical Society fund the program. To create the event, chemistry and chemical engineering professors at NJIT and chemistry high school teachers throughout New Jersey donated their time. The day of the event more than 30 New Jersey industry leaders, high school teachers and professors donated their time as judges.

Steering committee members included Reginald Tomkins, Ph.D., chemistry professor, NJIT; Borislow Bilash, II, chemistry teacher, James Caldwell High School, Caldwell; George Gross, retired Union High School chemistry teacher; Bruce Karpe, Watchung Hills Regional High School; Robert Zika, Kearny High School.

Corporate program sponsors included the American Chemical Society-North Jersey Section, the teachers affiliate; The Dow Chemical Foundation; Engelhard Corporation; Infineum U.S.A.; Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation; Phillips 66 Company; Ohaus Corporation; National Starch & Chemical Foundation; NJIT College of Science and Liberal Arts (CSLA); and the department of chemistry of CSLA at NJIT.

More sponsors were: Sun Chemical Corporation. Participating publishers include Addison-Wesley and Benjamin Cummings; Houghton-Mifflin Company; Prentice Hall, Inc.

During the olympics first, second and third place teams for each of ten events, plus first, second and third place overall winners received engraved plaques. A luncheon and awards presentation followed completion of the program.

Participating schools included teams at the following high schools: Bayonne High School, Bayonne, lead by faculty member Charles J. Seested; Cartaret High School, Carteret, lead by faculty member Mary Masterson; Chatham High School, Chatham, lead by faculty member Bettyann Howson; Dwight-Englewood High School, Englewood, lead by Ann Marie Reardon; Emerson High School, Emerson, lead by Deochand Deodharris.

More schools were: Governor Livingston High School, lead by faculty member John Penna; Hopewell Valley Central High School, Hopewell, lead by faculty member Jeannette Jones; Kearny High School, Kearny, lead by faculty member Robert Zika; James Caldwell High School, Caldwell, lead by faculty member Brenda Rosenau & Borislaw Bilash II; J.P. Stevens High School, Edison, lead by faculty member Paul Sekuler; New Providence High School, New Providence, lead by faculty member Maria Mango; Northern Hunterdon High School, Allendale, lead by faculty member Patrick J. Gibbons; Science High School, Newark, lead by faculty member Carole Butcher & Mridula Bajaj; South Brunswick High School, South Brunswick, lead by faculty member Theresa M. Farinella; Sparta High School, Sparta, lead by faculty member Angela Trzcinski; The Pingry School, Martindale, lead by faculty member Michele Parvensky; Watchung Hills Reg High School, Warren, lead by faculty member Bruce Karpe; West Essex Regional High School, lead by faculty member Deanna Lippi .


NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. Yahoo! Internet Life magazine cites NJIT as a "perennially most wired" university.

Contact Information:   Sheryl Weinstein
Robert Florida
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