If you’ve ever wanted to know which species would act as a Lewis acid in a homogenous equilibrium reaction, or wondered what the osmotic pressure and molecular weight of plastic is, just ask Steven Song.
The Semiahmoo Secondary grad won a gold medal at the International Chemistry Olympiad in Ankara, Turkey last week.
He was the only Canadian to win gold and the only member of the four-person Canadian contingent from B.C.
“I’m proud to represent Canada and it’s a pleasure to bring a medal home for my own country,” Song said in a release.
The chemistry olympiad is a grueling two-day competition that demands understanding of chemistry that is more typically offered by post-secondary education than standard high school courses.
It includes a theoretical exam worth 60 points and a practical exam worth 40.
Students are allotted five hours for each exam, and are tested in organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry and spectroscopy.
Held annually in a different host country around the world, the event brings together the top high school students from 68 countries.
Song – who immigrated to Canada from China less than three years ago – won gold and his teammates each earned silver medals, making them the most successful Team Canada in the competition’s history.
“This was the best Canadian team ever,” Song said.
Song credits his teachers and the accelerated studies offered by Semi’s International Baccalaureate program – which he graduated from in June – for preparing him for the July 18 competition.
He was chosen to represent the country at the event after placing second in the Canadian Chemistry Olympiad earlier this year. He was also part of the Semiahmoo team that won the UBC Physics Olympics this past spring.
Song intends to pursue a career in chemical engineering, and will attend the University of Alberta this September on a $16,000-entrance scholarship.