Tristan Niewenhuis, pictured on the left with organizer Dr. Magan Lewis, won the first ever S.D. You Be The Chemist challenge, topping a field of 31 other 5th-to-8th grade students.
Niewenhuis, a 6th-grade student at Brandon Valley Intermediate School will now represent the state at the national competition in Washington D.C. in June. After correctly answering dozens of chemistery and general science questions over multiple rounds of competition, Niewenhuis came out with the top score, edging Rahele Megosha, an 8th grade student at Whittier Middle School. Second runner-up was Carter Knuth, an 8th grader at Whittier, and third runner up was Colby Jones, a classmate of Niewenhuis at Brandon Intermediate.
Saturday’s competition was the first You Be The Chemist challenge held in South Dakota. It was developed by the Chemical Educational Foundation. Locally, the competition was sponsored by The Huron Chamber and Visitors Bureau, Dakota Provisions, the United Way Heartland Region as well as the Dow AgroSciences. Dow is a natiional sponsor for the YBTC challenge. “Congratulations to all of the participants today,” Lewis said after the award ceremony. “The students’ hard work, dedication, and passion for science was evident today. I am truly honored to have this opportunity of enhancing STEM outreach throughout the Dakotas and working with these bright young scientists.”