Canadian Chemistry Contest for high school and cégep students

Do you have one or more students who excel in your chemistry class and would enjoy a challenge? Have these students participate in The Canadian Chemistry Contest (CCC). Save April 11 for the 2016 edition of CCC. Watch for more information in future issues of Chem 13 News. This article provides some contest guidelines and announces the 2015 winners.

Each year, the Chemistry Education Division of the Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) coordinates the organization of the CCC and the pre-selection of the Canadian Chemistry Olympiad (CCO). Both contests are combined and held on the same day.

The preparation and administration of CCC involves the contribution of many chemistry instructors across the country:

  • Question Designers; supervised by CCC
    National Examiner, Ms. Jennifer Pitt-Lainsbury; and
  • Regional and District Coordinators; supervised
    by National Coordinator (i.e., me!).

This team of people work all year to provide Canadian students with a suitably, challenging exam.

The CCC is available in either English or French. This contest is intended for the top 10% of chemistry students. For the CCC, students must attend a Canadian high school or a Québec cégep, and they must never have been registered in a university-level science course. Cégep students cannot have completed more than two courses in chemistry at cégep-level.

The CCC consists of Part A:  Multiple-choice questions (25), to be completed in 60 minutes; and Part B: Essay questions (two chosen from four questions), to be completed in 90 minutes. The National Winner is awarded a prize of $800; other regional winners receive $450 each while regional second and third prizes are of $200 and $100 respectively. These prizes are awarded in six regions: Atlantic, Québec, Ontario, Manitoba-Saskatchewan-Nunavut, Alberta-NWT and BC-Yukon. Financial support for these prizes is generously provided by the Canadian Society for Chemistry and the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering.

The CCO pre-selection examination consists of

  • The CCC Part A — see above
  • Part C:  Free response problems (designed to be more challenging than Parts A and B); to be completed in 90 minutes

To participate in the CCO pre-selection process, students must be under 20 years old on July 1, 2016, and they must be Canadian citizens or permanent residents (or have attended a Canadian school for at least two years).

Students interested in both competitions may write Parts A, B and C within a total time of four hours.

Preliminary information about these contests will be sent to schools before the end of November. If your school did not receive information about CCC and CCO in 2014 – 2015, email Guillaume Bussière ( so that your school can be added in the mailing list of your district. Consult the CCC website.

We are looking forward to your participation in CCC 2016.

Winners, of CCC 2015 by region

On Monday, April 13, 2015, 703 students from 104 schools wrote the contest.


  1. Bridget La Prairie, Holy Heart of Mary High School, St. John’s NL
  2. Matthew Marshall, Gonzaga Regional High School, St. John’s NL
  3. Michul Kim, Kennebecasis Valley High School, Rothesay NB


  1. Charles-Émile Fecteau, Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe, Saint-Hyacinthe QC
  2. Damien Bérubé, John Abbott College, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue QC
  3. Nam Nguyen, Cégep de Sainte-Foy, Québec QC


  1. NATIONAL WINNER: Spencer Zhao, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto ON
  2. Alexander Cui, University of Toronto Schools, Toronto ON
  3. Sandra Nguyen, Woodlands Secondary School, Mississauga ON

Manitoba / Saskatchewan / Nunavut

  1. Chris Zhicheng Jing, Fort Richmond Collegiate, Winnipeg MB
  2. Emma McTavish, St. John’s Ravenscourt School, Winnipeg MB
  3. Nils Refivik, Daniel McIntyre Collegiate, Winnipeg MB

Alberta / Northwest Territories

  1. Harjee Johal, Crescent Heights High School, Calgary AB
  2. Jack Tan, Old Scona Academic, Edmonton AB
  3. Zachariah Goldthorpe, Old Scona Academic, Edmonton AB

British Columbia / Yukon

  1. Scott Xiao, Burnaby North High School, Vancouver BC
  2. David Yin, New Westminster Secondary School, New Westminster BC
  3. Jim Zhang Hao Li, Point Grey Secondary School, Vancouver BC