The Finnish delegation after the IChO awards ceremony. From left to right: Jukka Puumi, Kjell Knapas, Paulus Pöykkö, Severi Sulander, Nikolas Juhava, Aino Koskinen, and Juulia Talvitie. Severi Sulander holding the team's mascot. Photo: the team's local guide

International news

In late July, Finnish high school students showcased their chemistry prowess by participating in the 6th Nordic Chemistry Olympiad (NChO) in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the 55th International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) in Zurich, Switzerland. Among the 348 participants, Nikolas Juhava emerged as the top performer, securing a well-deserved bronze medal.

At the NChO, held in Copenhagen, Finnish students demonstrated remarkable consistency, with all four participants clinching consecutive bronze medals, ranking 7th to 10th.

The talented individuals who received recognition were Nikolas Juhava from Ressun upper secondary school, Paulus Pöykkö from Oulun Laanilan upper secondary school, Aino Koskinen from Järvenpään upper secondary school, and Severi Sulander from Töölön secondary school upper secondary school.

While the gold medals at NChO were claimed by Sweden and the host country, Denmark, Tanska, the silver medals were divided among Denmark and Norway. Both the international and Nordic competitions awarded gold to 10% of the participants, silver to 20%, bronze to 30%, and additionally, IChO presented honorable mentions to 10% of the contestants.

The Finnish delegation exhibited commendable performance at the IChO in Zurich as well. Despite the competitors' close scores, Nikolas Juhava's outstanding performance secured another bronze medal. The honorable mentions were granted to contestants ranking from 218th to 244th, with Paulus Pöykkö achieving 231st place and Aino Koskinen securing 235th place.

The Finnish delegation included not only the participants but also coaches Kjell Knapas (Chemistry training coordinator), Juulia Talvitie, and Jukka Puumi, as well as Miia Mäntymäki as a remote observer for IChO, all from the University of Helsinki.

The selection of Finnish representatives for international chemistry competitions is based on their performance in the national competition and subsequent training. The training process consists of three four-day training camps at the University of Helsinki's Department of Chemistry, supplemented with various assignments. The competition activities related to mathematical subjects are organized by the Association of Mathematics Teachers in Finland, which primarily receives funding from the Finnish National Agency for Education. This year, the activities received additional support from the Ministry of Education, the Technology Industries of Finland Centennial Foundation, and the Waldemar von Frenckell Foundation.

The talented Finnish competitors and their achievements are as follows:

Competitor Municipality Upper secondary school NChO-result IChO-result
Nikolas Juhava Helsinki Ressu upper secondary school Bronze (7.) Bronze (194.)
Aino Koskinen Järvenpää Järvenpään upper secondary school Bronze (8.) Kunniamaininta (235.)
Paulus Pöykkö Oulu Laanilan upper secondary school Bronze (9.) Kunniamaininta (231.)
Severi Sulander Sipoo Töölö upper secondary school Bronze (10.) (256.)