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Student to represent Grundy County at state chemistry competition

MINOOKA – An eighth-grader has won a countywide chemistry competition and will move on to compete at the state level.

Cole Kics from Minooka Junior High School bested a field of 10 fifth- to eighth-grade students to become the Grundy County You Be The Chemist Challenge champion.

Local students came together in Oglesby to compete for the top prize. Cole Kics will represent Grundy County at the state-level competition.

Developed by the Chemical Educational Foundation, the challenge is a question-and-answer competition that motivates fifth- to eighth-grade students to sharpen their knowledge of chemistry concepts and their real-world applications.

Students compete for prizes at the local and state levels and the ultimate prize of a trip to Washington, D.C., to vie for college scholarships.

The challenge program relies on partnerships between community members, including industry, schools, universities and community organizations, that seek to foster student engagement with science.

The 2017 Grundy County Challenge took place at Illinois Valley Community College and was sponsored by Aux Sable Liquid Products, Flint Hills Resources, LyondellBasell. After correctly answering dozens of chemistry and general science questions during multiple rounds of competition, Kics was declared the Grundy County champion.

He will advance to the Illinois State Challenge in Romeoville on April 29.

The following top-placing students also have earned a chance to compete at the state level: Chris Karceski, Minooka Junior High School and Alex Gernenz-Coal City Middle School. Anthony Corrado-Mazon-Verona, Kinsman Middle School, will serve as an alternate at the state competition.

The winner of the state competition will receive an expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the National Challenge on June 19. At the national level, state winners from across the country will vie for the title of Challenge Champion and a total of $18,500 in college scholarships.

For information about the You Be The Chemist Challenge competition, please visit CEF’s website at

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