Second Annual Chemistry Scholarship Competition

October 24, 2012

High school seniors in the region now have the opportunity to earn a full-tuition, four-year scholarship to study chemistry at the University of Rio Grande/Rio Grande Community College.

Rio Grande will be holding its second annual Chemistry Scholarship competition in November, and all area high school seniors interested in studying chemistry are strongly encouraged to apply.

The winner of the competition will receive a four-year, full-tuition scholarship to study chemistry at Rio Grande. In addition, partial-tuition, four-year scholarships will be awarded to the students who come in second and third place in the competition.

The competition is open to all high school seniors who will be starting college in the fall of 2013. All interested students are invited to apply.
The competition is based on an examination that all of the applicants will take at Rio Grande. The test is made up of two components, and students will spend the day on campus on Friday, Nov. 16 to take the examination and learn more about the chemistry program.

One part of the examination will be a multiple-choice section that will test the chemistry knowledge of the applicants. The subjects that will be included in this section will include atomic structure, chemical reactions and stoichiometry, gas laws thermochemistry, chemical bonding, molecular shape, intermolecular forces, solutions, acid-based chemistry and nuclear chemistry.

A second part of the examination will be a written section that is designed to help the chemistry faculty members learn more about the high school seniors.
The students who take part in the competition will also receive a guided tour of the Rio Grande campus, and will learn more about the chemistry facilities on campus. The applicants will also have the opportunity to talk with faculty members, as well as students who are studying chemistry at Rio Grande.

Rio Grande revamped its chemistry program a few years ago in order to better meet the needs of current students, and this year’s senior class will be the first to graduate from the new program. Rio Grande has also made numerous improvements to its chemistry facilities in recent year, along with the continuous improvements and renovations made every year on campus in order to allow students to learn in high-level facilities.

Chemistry students also have the opportunity work in internship programs in the region, such as the new summer internship program with Ohio Precious Metals in Jackson, in order to gain real world experience.

The chemistry program is designed to prepare students for graduate degree programs or to go to work right after graduation. This year’s class of chemistry seniors, for example, includes students who are planning to go to medical school, enroll in pharmaceutical schools or other graduate programs, and work in industry after graduation.

John Means, Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Chemistry Program Coordinator at Rio Grande, is proud of how well this senior class of students is doing, and he is very pleased with how the winners of last year’s Chemistry Scholarship competition are progressing in the program.

“It has been fantastic,” Means said. The scholarship winners are all excellent students, and they have fit in well with the chemistry department.

Throughout the academic year, Rio Grande sets up special dinners, projects and other activities to allow the students in different grade levels in the chemistry program to get to know each other. The upper  level students are also encouraged to help out the first-year and second-year students, in order to help them start off well in the program and feel comfortable.

“It’s a family atmosphere,” Means said. Rio Grande’s focus on small class sizes and individual attention from faculty members also allows students to get to know each other well and to help each other.

For more information on the chemistry program or on the Chemistry Scholarship competition, call John Means at 1-800-282-7201. For additional information or to register for the competition, log onto The deadline for registering for the competition is Friday, Nov. 9.

For additional information on scholarships and financial aid programs at Rio Grande, as well as information on the wide range of academic programs offered on the university’s scenic campus, log onto