Junior Melissa Gardner places top 10 in American Chemical Society high school chemistry competition

Ella Johnson, Website Editor

Chemistry…To some students, just the thought of balancing chemical equations, determining ionic and covalent bonds, or naming chemical compounds is discouraging, but to Junior Melissa Gardner, chemistry is a subject, and a class, that she enjoys.


“I am in AP chemistry currently and love it!” Gardner said. “It is one of my favorite classes.”


Gardner was a top ten finalist in the American Chemical Society high school competition. She took the test for extra credit in her AP chemistry class, and just “to see how [she] scored.” From scoring so well on the test, she moved on to the compete as a national finalist.


Moving on to the next level is an accomplishment that Gardner is proud of. She said, “I am really excited to have made it this far.  Going into the qualifying test I was pretty nervous, but since I passed I have gained a new confidence in myself and my ability to learn and apply natural and chemical procedures.”


Gardner is hoping that she can continue competing, maybe even at an international level. “I hope to move on far enough to go to Azerbaijan in the summer and participate in a special program for the top performers, but that may be a long shot,” Gardner said.


Gardner’s ability to perform so well in a chemistry competition has not come without a price. Her sophomore year she took honors chemistry; she took a summer chemistry course at the University of Utah, and is currently in AP chemistry with two semesters of labs at the University of Utah.


“It was a lot of work,” Gardner said, “but it all seems worth it now that I understand and enjoy chemistry.”


In the future, Gardner wants to potentially do something chemistry related, but not necessarily chemistry.


“I am not entirely sure what I want to go into, but I am considering Architecture or medical research,” Gardner said. “I don’t want to go directly into a chemistry field because as I researched different fields of chemistry none of them really stood out to me, but I think that medical research could be interesting, and I could be doing something to help people.”