Chemical Education Journal (CEJ), Vol. 5, No. 1 /Registration No. 5-16 /Received May 30, 2001.

International Chemistry Olympiad: Survey on the Circumstances of its Participant Countries


Masato M. Ito*, Takashi Tatsumi, Haruo Hosoya, Keiji Kamogawa, Atsunori Mori, Yoshihiko Noda, Hideyuki Sugimura, Yoshito Takeuchi, Kuniaki Tatsuta, Yukihiko Ueno, and Tatsuharu Yamanouchi**

The Subcommittee on International Relationship, The Council for Chemistry Education, Chemical Society of Japan, 1-5 Kanda-Surugadai, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 101-8307, Japan

Abstract: A survey was made on the circumstances of countries participating in the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO), with twenty-four collaborating countries. Statistics are presented for the way of selecting and training student delegates, cost for selection, training, and sending delegates. Typical means of selection are (1) with a relatively small number of participants in the first step to start with an advanced high school level exam and select the final candidates in two or three steps and (2) with more than one thousand participants in the first step, to start with the basic high school level exam and select the candidates in three or four steps with increasing level of exams. The typical way for training is to set up ten to nineteen (maybe fourteen) days of a study camp in a university in June, to assign about twenty hours each for problem-solving exercises, laboratory work, and lectures, and to hold one to three tests, each for three to four hours. Instructors are usually university teachers. Delegates are usually selected during the training. The total cost for selection, training, and sending the delegates is usually less than fifty thousand dollars. In about half of the participating countries, the delegates are given the privilege of entering university. Between 1995 and 1999, almost all of the delegates specialized in chemistry or related fields in the university, followed by medicine and computer-related fields. The positive effect of the special training on the candidates, as well as the difficulties or problems facing the participating countries, such as financial ones, is also surveyed.

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