July 21, 2011
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.
Steven, who graduated from Semiahmoo Secondary’s International Baccalaureate program in June, won a gold medal at the International Chemistry Olympiad in Ankara, Turkey July 18. 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,” says Steven, who immigrated to Canada from China less than three years ago.
The International Chemistry Olympiad is a grueling two-day competition that includes a theoretical exam worth 60 points and a practical exam worth 40 points. Students are allotted five hours for each exam, and are tested in organic, inorganic, physical and analytical chemistry and spectroscopy.
Steven finished with a point total of 91.66, including a top-10 finish in the theoretical portion with a score of 58 out of 60.
While Steven won gold, 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,” says Steven.
Steven credits his teachers and the accelerated studies offered by Semiahmoo’s International Baccalaureate program for preparing him so well for international competition.
Steven was chosen to represent Canada at the International Chemistry Olympiad 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.
Steven intends to pursue a career in chemical engineering, and will attend the University of Alberta this September on a $16,000 entrance scholarship.
Held annually in a different host country around the world, the International Chemistry Olympiad brings together the top high school students from 68 countries for two days of competition that demands an understanding of chemistry that is more typically offered by a post-secondary education than standard high school courses.
Semiahmoo Secondary grad Steven Song was the top Canadian competitor at the International Chemistry Olympiad in Ankara, Turkey, winning a gold medal for his team.
Last Updated: July 21, 2011