Sewickley Academy sophomores score tops in American Chemical Society competition

Thursday, May 10, 2018 | 1:27 PM

Sewickley Academy sophomores Tim Han and Erin Mahoney took first and second prize, respectively, in a competition sponsored by the local chapter of the American Chemical Society.

The two won the awards based on their scores on a two-hour exam given each year by the society.

“Dr. (Susan) Zawacky told us about the chemistry contest that tests our knowledge and skills with an opportunity to win prizes and real money,” Han said in a release issued by the school. “Since I liked chemistry and did fairly well in the honors chemistry class, I was determined to participate in the contest.”

Zawacky is a senior school chemistry teacher at Sewickley Academy.

Since 1945, the Pittsburgh section of the American Chemical Society has sponsored an annual competition for secondary students. The competition “recognizes outstanding achievement by the students and their teachers as well as encouraging interest in chemistry among school students,” according to the group.

Han and Mahoney took different approaches to preparing for the exam, but both acknowledged that their in-school classes provided solid preparation.

Later this month, both students will attend an awards dinner at Duquesne University.

This year, 101 students from 20 schools competed for prizes and scholarships. First-place winners receive $250; second-place winners get $150; and third-place finishers are given $100.