Clark’s AP Chemistry Class Takes on the 2022 Molympics


Sarin Khatcherian

Clark’s AP Chemistry Class competes in the annual Molympics competition in honor of Mole Day.

The mole is a fundamental unit and concept in chemistry that is not only utilized inside and outside the classroom and fields of science, but is also celebrated every year on October 23rd as Mole Day. Corresponding to Avogadro’s number 6.022 x 10^23, Mole Day is celebrated at 6:02 in the morning and evening on 10/23 starting in 1991. However, this national day is not the only way the substantial unit is celebrated. In fact, for the past 10 years various high schools throughout the globe have been participating in the annual Molympics competitions, including our own Clark Magnet High School. 

Molympics hosted its 9th official competition this year. Due to COVID19 restrictions in the past, Clark has newly enrolled as a participant among 160 other high schools led by 164 teachers. On October 26, 2022, Ms. Mkrtchyan’s AP Chemistry class strapped on their chemistry thinking-caps and completed 4 vigorous and exhilarating tasks. The students broke into five teams of four and devoured activities that ranged from calculations, experiments, trials, and fitness competitions during the Period 4 block. 

Last year, Ms. Mkrtchyan had done another fun activity in celebration of Mole Day with her AP Chem class as well, though this is her first time with Molympics. “I know how stressful AP Chemistry can be so I wanted to bring some fun into the learning,” she said. “Students can use calculations outside of the box rather than typical AP style questions, which is also very important for critical thinking skills.” Ms. Mkrtchyan hopes to not only continue with the competitions but also have more groups participating in the future with a larger AP class. 

By keeping this experience exclusive to her AP Chemistry students, Ms. Mkrtchyan believes it would also be a great encouragement for students thinking about taking the class in the future as well. “I want to keep something special for AP kids,” she said. “Maybe other chemistry students will look at this and it will spark their interest to take the class, seeing that it is not always difficult but also fun.” 

It is with great pride that out of 9,301 students from 34 states and 4 provinces in the 13 countries participating in the 2022 Molympics, Clark Magnet High School’s AP Chemistry class ranked in the Top 10 winners, landing in 8th place with only one other school from California. Under the constant motivation and guidance of Ms. Mkrtchyan, the students were able to take on the competition while having an enjoyable and heartening experience.