High School Chemistry Olympiad

The Southern California Section of the American Chemical Society has been offering the Chemistry Contest since 1914, at which time Nordhoff High School was the top-scoring school. It became the High School Chemistry Olympiad in 1968 when National ACS began sponsoring it. In 2008, the Section won a National award for 25 years of continuous support of the Chemistry Olympiad. In 2014, we celebrated 100 years of offering the High School Contest. The Southern California Section has the longest-running contest in American Chemical Society history.

The Chemistry Olympiad is a way for the Section to locate and recognize high-achieving students and mentor them in chemistry. Each year, we offer the test at over 30 high school campuses all over Los Angeles County. The test is designed to test a student’s knowledge of a wide variety of topics in chemistry. The top scorers on the local exam are nominated to compete in the National Exam. The top 20 national winners are invited to attend an all-expense paid two-week study camp. The top four finalists from the camp are then selected to represent the United States at the International Chemistry Olympiad which is held in a different country each year. We recognize the top local students at an Educational Awards Banquet in May with monetary awards and certificates.

The 2023 High School Chemistry Olympiad Local Exam was held on March 15 & 16. This year we had 624 students representing 30 schools for the High School Chemistry Olympiad. The top 14 students took the National Exam on April 22, 8:00 am at California State University, Dominguez Hills. Click the link below to find out more.