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Chemistry Olympiad

The International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO) is a competition organized for secondary school students of all levels from all over the globe with the objective of promoting their creativity and cognitive skills in solving chemistry problems. The IChO competitions help to facilitate cordial relations between the youth of different nationalities and encourage networking.

IChO is just one out of the 12 International Science Olympiads held in the world. The rest cover other disciplines, such as Mathematics, Physics, Biology, etc. IChO headquarters is based in Bratislava, Slovakia of the former Eastern Bloc. This event began in 1968 with the participation from Czechoslovakia, Poland and Hungary. Other Eastern European countries joined the program subsequently. Western European nations entered to participate in this event in 1974 and the USA in 1984.

Some of the goals of the Chemistry Olympiad are as follows.

  • Stimulate young aspiring minds to achieve excellence in Chemistry
  • Recognize outstanding Chemistry students
  • Encourage additional systematic learning at a formative age in their intellectual development
  • Foster networking through multicultural experience
  • Recognize the untiring input given by the teacher and the teaching methodologies adopted

Currently, around 80 countries participate in this annual competition held for the world’s most talented secondary school level Chemistry students. To date, 48 contests have been held. In 2017 49th IChO competition was held in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand.

The Olympiad program is a multi-tiered competition and consists of the following format.

  1. Local section competition
  2. National Olympiad examination
  3. Training camps
  4. International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO)

Only the teams chosen through a National Chemistry Olympiad competition are invited to take part in the IChO.

IChO steering committee has officially accepted the Institute of Chemistry Ceylon (IChemC) as the official organizer to conduct the National Chemistry Olympiad competition in Sri Lanka. In 2016, the governing Council of the IChemC formed a committee comprising of academics attached to universities and institutes to organize and conduct the National Chemistry Olympiad Competition in Sri Lanka, which thus is named as Chemistry Olympiad Sri Lanka (COSL).

National Chemistry Olympiad Committee

  • Dr Chinthaka Ratnaweera (Chairman) – Senior Lecturer, Institute of Chemistry Ceylon
  • Dr Ireshika de Silva (Secretary) – Senior Lecturer, University of Colombo
  • Prof Janitha Liyanage – Senior Lecturer, University of Kelaniya
  • Prof Priyani Paranagama – Dean, College of Chemical Sciences, Institute of Chemistry
  • Prof Sudantha Liyanage – Dean, Faculty of Science, University of Sri Jayawardhanapura
  • Dr Poshitha Premarathne – Past Chairman of The Royal Chemical Society Sri Lanka section
  • Dr Chandani Udawatta – Senior Lecturer, Institute of Chemistry Ceylon
  • Dr Sameera Gunathilaka – Senior Lecturer, Institute of Chemistry Ceylon
  • Dr Gobika Thiripuranathar – Senior Lecturer, Institute of Chemistry Ceylon
  • Dr Punya Keerthi – Secretary, Institute of Chemistry Ceylon
  • Dr Piyal Ariyananda – Scientist, MAS Holdings


Chemistry Olympiad Sri Lanka 2018 – Newspaper Article