THS Chemistry Club Places in the NJCO

The THS Chemistry Club excels in the NJCO as they display perfect team chemistry.
THS Chemistry Club Places in the NJCO

On Thursday, May 16, the Tenafly High School Chemistry Club placed in three events at the 36th New Jersey Chemistry Olympics (NJCO). The NJCO is a “science-focused competition that is open to all public and private high schools as well as organized clubs from informal educational institutions in and around the North Jersey area,” as described by NJCO itself. It is run by the New Jersey Institute of Technology, and there are a total of eight events in the NJCO: chemistry research, website design, chemical nomenclature, information search, analytical (forensics), instrumentation lab, microscale laboratory, and debate. From there, the events are split into three categories, which consist of lab, general, and research events.

Out of the eight events, Tenafly students received awards in two categories. The winners are listed with their respective awards and categories below.


2nd Place Award – Analytical (Forensics): Derek Cho (’24), Tyler Jeong (’24), Andrew Lee (’24)

2nd Place Award – Nomenclature: Derek Cho (’24), Yuanning (Helen) Hui (’24), Andrew Lee (’24)

3rd Place Award – Analytical (Forensics): Abhinav De (’26), Hillary Xie (’26)


Recipients voiced their passion for science as well as how this year’s competition helped them foster a greater understanding of the subject matter and its role in the field of chemistry. Forensics, a branch of science that specifies legal decisions by utilizing scientific knowledge, aids judges, lawyers, and juries in understanding the scientific tests that are provided as evidence. This year’s event was related to determining bank check fraud.

Nomenclature is the system of choosing names, such as naming ionic compounds. The testing had 50 questions and the testing limit included identifying polyatomic ions, molecular compounds, and hydrates. Nomenclature is crucial to science, for it provides each symbol and name for objects in a specific field of science.

Some students stated that they were satisfied with the results this year, acknowledging how they worked hard throughout the school year to strengthen their strategies. They explained how they prepared for each event and what they expected to be tested on when they walked into the examination hall.

“It was really insightful learning about the impacts of thin-layer chromatography, and the lab was really helpful in helping understand a bit more about how forensics labs work,” Xie (26) said. “I was really glad our hard work paid off. We spent hours perfecting our methodology and running sample tests.”

“We were a little stressed preparing because of the time crunch,” Hui (’24) said, commenting on the lack of time that she had to study. Despite this, Hui’s stellar results reflected the preparation that she did in the short amount of time provided.

On the other hand, some students described the experience as manageable. They remarked on how preparation wasn’t very hard this year and how other factors other than mere preparation influenced the overall outcome of the competition.

“Honestly, there wasn’t much preparation involved at least for me—maybe two hours of nomenclature and another two hours of analytical lab,” Cho (’24) said. Cho then went on to highlight the importance of teamwork and synergy above personal interests and achievements: “I was more excited when Hillary and Abhinav got their award.”

“I did not have to prepare all that much for the NJCO […] I brushed up a little bit on my nomenclature, but NJCO—especially the lab event—is less about knowledge and more about performing during the event,” Lee (’24) said.

Extensive preparation, along with group work, guided the THS students to victory in the 36th NJCO. When the Chemistry Club returned from the competition, they returned with a greater bond, having produced results that were more than elemental.

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About the Contributor
Soeun Lee
Soeun Lee, Senior Staff Writer
Soeun Lee ('27) is delighted to be a Senior Staff Writer for The Echo. She was published in various national publications and was an editor of Limelight, the TMS literary magazine. She is excited to further expand her literary horizons in The Echo. In her free time, Soeun loves spending time with her family and doing anything related to literature.