Registration for the 2021-2022 Challenge cycle has been extended to January 31! Click here to register your team(s).

CEF’s You Be The Chemist Challenge® is a collaborative, multilevel student science competition that celebrates the science of chemistry and elevates STEM careers. 5th-8th grade students are eligible to compete in teams of four (4).

There will be two participation tracks for the 2021-2022 Challenge cycle – in-person and virtual (click here to see a list of in-person Regional Challenge locations). Team Coordinators must select a participation track when they register their team. This selection may not be changed unless local health guidelines change for the area in which a team will participate. Due to restrictions from Covid-19, parents may serve as Team Coordinators during the 2021-2022 Challenge cycle.

Competition Timeline

October 6, 2021

Registration open.

Official rules/guidelines and study materials released.

Teams can begin working on their video, to be submitted between January 10 and March 4, 2022.

January 10, 2022

In-person Regional Challenges begin.

Video submission window opens – please wait to upload videos until you receive your Team Identifier.

January 31, 2022

Registration closes (extended deadline).

Deadline for Team Coordinators to administer the Qualifier exam (extended deadline). Please note, only teams participating in-person should take the Qualifier exam.

March 4, 2022

Teams collaborate throughout the year to create a video based on a prompt exploring chemistry concepts that is evaluated by a panel of judges. All teams create and submit a video. The deadline to submit a video is March 4, 2022.

March 5 or 12, 2022

Teams participating in the virtual track compete in the virtual academic competition on one of these dates, where they answer multiple-choice and short-answer questions during the event. Teams must be identified before the virtual event. During the virtual event students answer questions individually, and a student’s score is averaged with those of their teammates to calculate a team’s overall score.

May 2022

State winners and national finalists are announced in May.

June 5-7, 2022

The National Challenge is held in-person in Houston, TX.


Get involved with the You Be The Chemist Challenge:

Participate as a Student: Students in grades 5 through 8 are welcome to participate in the Challenge.

Involve your Students (for Educators): Enroll your students to participate in the Challenge.

Sponsor: Provide financial support for the Challenge experience to students and educators in your community. Email Development Director Brandy Gates at for more information on Challenge sponsorship.

Email for more information on how to get involved.