WUCT as an student organization was founded in 2015 by Harshi Gupta and Abhishek Sethi. With a team of undergraduates, the group ran its first chemistry competition in April 2016.
The number of competitors have grown in size with every year. From WUCT 2016, 180 students from 3 states participated. In WUCT 2017, 210 students from 6 states participated. During WUCT 2018, 288 students from 14 states participated. The 2019 tournament will mark WUCT’s 4th year, and we plan to invite over 300 students from across the nation.
Any high school student in grades 9-12 on a full team is eligible for attending WUCT. Home-schooled students who are in the corresponding grades are also eligible. We recommend students to participate in the competition if they have had at least one year of chemistry coursework at the high school level. Additionally, we recommend studying for the tournament with online tools and asking teachers for guidance for additional problems.
Our team works hard to create questions that push the students' understandings of the fundamentals of Chemistry. Please be aware that we design our questions to be applications of the knowledge, not a direct examination of that knowledge.
While this competition may use a general high school curriculum as a basis for the concepts covered, it expands and explores applications of these topics to different areas of study.
At the beginning of September, Topic Exam subjects will be announced. Participants do not need to have any background knowledge regarding these topics, as we will have students apply general chemistry concepts to these scenarios. Because the competition is intended to challenge high school students to use fundamental problem-solving strategies, we strongly recommend preparing outside the classroom.
While studying the niche topics can aid in understanding the introductions to the questions, we at WUCT run our questions by professors, graduate students and chemistry majors to make sure we clearly explain the application. Therefore, this preparation could end up being unnecessary.
We have uploaded our sample and competition problems from the past years on the Archives page. We will upload our sample problems for WUCT 2019 on the home page by January. Please note that we do not repeat questions from year to year. This archive is meant to help you gauge how difficult the questions may be.
Please refer to the “Incomplete Teams” section of the Event Info page for our policy on this matter.
WUCT places a strong emphasis on team-based approaches to solving problems, and all but one of our rounds involves teams working in either pairs or groups of 6 students. Therefore, we do not allow teams less than six to compete.
If you are an individual or a group of less than 6 students and cannot find a team of interested students within your school, we recommend that you contact other individuals from within your state. Schools with full teams will be given preference for attendance over schools with incomplete teams if we reach our maximum capacity.
We have designed our questions to be approachable for high school students yet still carry real world applications (ie. engineering, biochemistry etc.). We promote an environment where students think critically about problems, collaborate with their teammates and form rigorous justifications for their answers.
Our individual and team rounds will require various problem-solving techniques and strategic approaches that require a deeper understanding of fundamental principles rather than encouraging memorization of chemical ideas and concepts. Unlike the Chemistry Olympiad, all but one of our rounds have team members working together to solve questions.
Because of the collaborative nature of the tournament, we expect that students distribute the workload according to different chemistry concepts, resulting a greater in-depth study of each topic.
For the most part, the WUCT 2019 competition is similar to the WUCT 2018 tournament. There are changes in the topics of the 2019 competition.
However, in respect to the organization and workflow behind the scenes, WUCT is always evolving. Ever since 2018, WUCT has transitioned to using mobile apps and student-built programs to facilitate grading and our team will continue building new programs to streamline our event.
While students take the Individual and Topic Exams, teachers are encouraged in interactive faculty-lead workshops to discuss effective strategies and resources available that focus on establishing critical thinking and collaboration in their own classrooms. WUCT is currently seeking ways to allow educators to receive accreditation for attendance at these workshops.
We also ask every coach to proctor a team other than their own during Team Round. Coaches will be able to watch and cheer on their team during the Breaking Bonds Round.
Teachers will have the opportunity to meet other coaches, students, and parents throughout the day and attend any break-time activities of their choosing. Teachers can also look over exams and answer keys once students finish.
Yes, this year (2019), we are partnered with Drury Inn and Suites Forest Park. Teams may reserve up to 2 rooms per team at our discounted rate using a group code that will be provided once registration is complete. Drury Inn has agreed to hold rooms for us until 3/4/19; after that date, teams can no longer reserve rooms using our group code.
As a courtesy to our other teams, we ask that you refrain from reserving more than 2 rooms. However, from 2/25/19 to 3/4/19, teams may reserve additional rooms on a "first come, first served" basis.
Please make sure you are entering the provided code into the "group number" field (see image below). Additionally, please make sure you have selected "Drury Inn and Suites Forest Park" as your hotel and that your check-in date is either 4/5/19 or 4/6/19 and your checkout date is either 4/6/19 or 4/7/19. It is also possible to make a reservation by calling Drury Inn and providing the group number at that time.