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Students advance to You Be The Chemist state competition

February 16, 2017

Hamilton Middle School eighth-grade student Samhitha Bandi accepts the champion plaque at the You Be The Chemist Houston Challenge on Feb. 11 at the University of Houston’s Agnes Hall Auditorium.
Hamilton Middle School eighth-grade student Samhitha Bandi accepts the champion plaque at the You Be The Chemist Houston Challenge on Feb. 11 at the University of Houston’s Agnes Hall Auditorium.

Feb. 16, 2017—Five students from Aragon and Hamilton middle schools placed among the top 10 at the You Be The Chemist Houston Challenge, held Feb. 11 at the University of Houston’s Agnes Hall Auditorium.

The You Be The Chemist (YBTC) Challenge is an interactive academic contest that encourages students in grades 5-8 to explore chemistry concepts and their real-world applications. The challenge provides a unique opportunity for a variety of individuals and organizations—including schools, members of the chemical industry, educators, and other community partners—to come together and show their support for STEM education.

Hamilton and Aragon students represented CFISD well at the You Be The Chemist Houston Challenge on Feb. 11. Pictured, from left, are Hamilton students Jwal Ranganathan, Samhitha Bandi, Beau Matthews and Alex Cantu; and Aragon students Aadarsh Narayan, Lauren Sharkis and Leanh Nguyen.
Hamilton and Aragon students represented CFISD well at the You Be The Chemist Houston Challenge on Feb. 11. Pictured, from left, are Hamilton students Jwal Ranganathan, Samhitha Bandi, Beau Matthews and Alex Cantu; and Aragon students Aadarsh Narayan, Lauren Sharkis and Leanh Nguyen.

Aragon and Hamilton were two of the seven Houston-area schools represented. Hamilton eighth-grade student Samhitha Bandi placed first to win the competition—her second time to bring home the overall title. Aragon eighth-grade student Leanh Nguyen also finished among the final four students in the competition, placing fourth overall.

The following students finished in the top 10 to earn a spot in the state competition, set for April 29 at the University of Houston. One student from the state competition will advance to the national YBTC Challenge, set for June 19 in Washington, DC:

  • Aadarsh Narayan, Aragon eighth-grade student;
  • Beau Matthews, Hamilton eighth-grade student; and
  • Alex Cantu, Hamilton seventh-grade student.

“I am so proud of our Tigers for rising to this challenge and placing within the top 10 in the City of Houston Challenge,” said Nicole Domingues, Hamilton science campus content instructional specialist (CCIS). “They have worked hard and it is nice to see all their efforts come to fruition. This is their second year to place within the top 10, so watch out state; Hamilton is ready to win this year!”

Other CFISD representatives at the local competition were Hamilton’s Jwal Ranganathan and Aragon’s Lauren Sharkis.

Hamilton and Aragon You Be The Chemist sponsors stand with state qualifiers after the event. Pictured, from left, are Nicole Domingues, Hamilton science CCIS; Alex Cantu, Hamilton seventh-grade student; Samhitha Bandi, Hamilton eighth-grade student; Leanh Nguyen, Aragon eighth-grade student; Aadarsh Narayan, Aragon eighth-grade student; and Melissa Keeland, Aragon science teacher. Not pictured is state qualifier Beau Matthews, Hamilton eighth-grade student.
Hamilton and Aragon You Be The Chemist sponsors stand with state qualifiers after the event. Pictured, from left, are Nicole Domingues, Hamilton science CCIS; Alex Cantu, Hamilton seventh-grade student; Samhitha Bandi, Hamilton eighth-grade student; Leanh Nguyen, Aragon eighth-grade student; Aadarsh Narayan, Aragon eighth-grade student; and Melissa Keeland, Aragon science teacher. Not pictured is state qualifier Beau Matthews, Hamilton eighth-grade student. 

“I am so proud of all three of my students for all of the hard work and effort they put into preparing for the competition,” said Melissa Keeland, Aragon eighth-grade science teacher. 

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