BASF hosts science whizzes

Published 9:46 pm Saturday, May 3, 2014

Virginia’s brightest young minds, including some from Suffolk, faced off at BASF’s Suffolk location on Wilroy Road last week for the state round of the You Be the Chemist Challenge.

After emerging the victor, Varun Mosur, an eighth-grader from Blue Ridge Middle School in Purcellville, will represent Virginia at the 10th annual national challenge, in Philadelphia in June.

“As the world’s largest chemical company, BASF certainly understands the importance of engaging students in science education at an early age,” Patrick Hochstrasser, manager of the Suffolk site, stated in a news release.

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“Our strength as a company lies in our ability to find innovative solutions to meet the needs of the future, and therefore, it is essential that we support and develop the best scientific and technical talents.”

Developed by the Chemical Education Foundation, the challenge is a question-and-answer competition allowing students to test their science smarts, including chemistry concepts, scientific theory and laboratory safety.

BASF Corporation sponsors the national challenge and the state competition.

Beverly Nedab, human resources manager for BASF in Suffolk, stated that the students were “truly excited to experience chemistry in an interactive and fun way.”

“Through our interaction, we hope to encourage them to pursue careers in the sciences.”

First, second and third runners-up Saturday were, respectively, Johnny Erskine, Edlin School, Reston; Amit Joshi, Smarts Mill Middle School, Leesburg; and Sofie Subiaur, J.L. Simpson Middle School, also in Leesburg.

The top four finalists at the national competition will receive scholarships totaling $15,000.