Region’s top high school chemistry students earn awards at MTSU tournament

Many of the brightest young minds in chemistry from high schools across the region participated in the recent MTSU Department of Chemistry Scholarship Tournament.

MTSU chemistry officials revived the tournament, which was last held in 2015, and conducted once again in the Science Building.

The event was an effort to recognize nearly 30 outstanding chemistry students from Rutherford and surrounding counties and get them to consider MTSU as their college choice. Participants included seniors who had completed a year of chemistry and qualified juniors.

Incentives included special awards (scholarships to attend MTSU and cash) to the top three finishers from the approximately 90-minute exam “based on general chemistry that a high school student would have covered,” said professor Norma Dunlap, who oversaw the running of the event.

The students toured the 250,000-square-foot Science Building (including research labs) that opened in 2014 and learned about the program from current students Myranda Uselton (2015 tournament winner), Kayley Stallings (’15 participant), Avraz Anwar and Daniela Taylor.

Following lunch, College of Basic and Applied Sciences Dean Bud Fischer presented scholarships and checks to first-place Faith Viers ($2,000 scholarship and $500) of Central Magnet School in Murfreesboro, runner-up Callie Hall ($1,500 scholarship and $300) of Central Magnet and third-place Daniel Bergman ($1,000/$100) of Mt. Juliet (Tennessee) High School.

The visiting students observed research posters that had been presented by MTSU students at regional and national meetings. Gifts for the students and their teachers were provided by the chemistry department.

“Our intention is to make this a yearly event,” Dunlap said.

MTSU has more than 300 combined undergraduate and graduate programs.

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