Marymount Hosting Chemistry Challenge for Middle School Students

Marymount University’s biology department, in collaboration with the Chemical Educational Foundation, is hosting a chemistry challenge for middle school students from 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28 in the Reinsch Library Auditorium.

“You Be the Chemist” is a question-and-answer competition for grades five through eight with a format similar to the National Spelling Bee. It’s designed to engage students in learning about important chemistry concepts, discoveries and lab safety.

“It’s a great way to get students excited about science,” said Dr. Deana Jaber, an assistant professor of chemistry at Marymount and the challenge’s primary organizer.

Trophies will be awarded to the top four finishers, and each competitor will be given a gift card, thanks to a donation from the Dominion Foundation, which makes the event possible. Dr. Eric Bubar, a Marymount assistant professor of physical sciences, will perform scientific demonstrations between each round of the competition.

Ten different schools in Arlington and Fairfax counties will each send two students. The winner will advance to a state competition in Suffolk on April 26. Each state winner from across the country will receive a free trip, along with a chaperone and educator, to the national challenge June 22 in Philadelphia.

For more information on the national program, go to

Community members are invited to attend the Marymount event but are encouraged to RSVP by emailing Jaber.