By Jessica Mathews /

A local student is participating in the National Chemistry Olympiad this week – a multi-tiered competition designed to stimulate and promote achievement in high school chemistry.

Claire Young, a Junior at Brighton High School, is participating in the American Chemical Society (ACS) National Chemistry Olympiad Exam this week. It got underway Wednesday and continues through Friday. It’s said to be quite the accomplishment to advance to this level.

The Chemistry Olympiad aims to excite young people to achieve excellence in chemistry and recognize the excellent achievement of the teachers of these students and the importance of the school environment in which they learn.

AP Chemistry Teacher Josef Hudecek mentors the Brighton High School students and coordinates participation in the national competition. The American Chemical Society has sponsored the program since 1984.

Young is one of eleven students representing the Detroit ACS Chapter, joining students from Troy, Novi, Detroit Country Day, Bloomfield Hills, and Detroit Jesuit. Approximately 16,000 U.S. students sit for the local exam each year, with about 1000 students qualifying to take the National Exam.

The Detroit Local Section exam is said to be one of the most competitive in the country. Top scoring students on the National Exam have an opportunity to represent the U.S. at the International Chemistry Olympiad.

Hudecek commented that "The other qualifiers were from Detroit Country Day, Novi, Troy, Cranbrook Kingswood, Grosse Pointe North HS, U of D Jesuit, and International Academy. It's a pretty elite group!”

Young took the National Exam written test yesterday and heads to U of M Dearborn on Friday for the lab exam.