Young St. Mary chemist wins national Earth Day award

Contributed photo

Reyansh Bejgum receiving a first-place certificate and cash award for his 2019 Illustrated Poem from the Kentucky Lake Section's CCEW Coordinator Dr. Bommanna Loganathan. Reyansh's Earth Day Poem also won first place at national level competition in the K-2 grades category.

Reyansh Bejgum, a kindergarten student from St. Mary Elementary School, won a first-place award at the national level in the Chemist Celebrate Earth Week (CCEW) Illustrated Poem Contest, sponsored by the American Chemical Society (ACS) and the Kentucky Lake Section of the ACS.

"At the national level, 1,400 poems were judged, and our young chemist in the local Kentucky Lake Section received a national level award," said Dr. Bommanna Loganathan, chemistry professor at Murray State University. "This is a significant accomplishment."

Loganathan serves as a coordinator for the CCEW of the Kentucky Lake Section.

Chemists Celebrate Earth Week is an annual community outreach program hosted by the American Chemical Society. Chartered by Congress, the ACS is the world's largest scientific society. CCEW is designed to enhance national appreciation of the many important contributions made through chemistry to preserving our planet and improving our environment. CCEW is celebrated throughout the country by most of the 185 local sections of the American Chemical Society.

The Kentucky Lake Section is one of the 185 local chapters of the ACS in the United States.

CCEW is a weeklong celebration during the fourth week of April every year. The theme for this year's CCEW is "Take Note: Chemistry of Paper." As part of the 2019 CCEW celebration, students from grades K-12 were invited to participate in the illustrated poem contest. More than 20 participants including students from Calloway County High School, St. Mary elementary, middle and high schools, and Union High School submitted their illustrated poems in three categories (K-2, Grades 6-8 and Grades 9-12).

Society members from Murray State University, Bethel University, and West Kentucky Community and Technical College judged the entries.

The winners at the Local Section levels were announced during the April meeting of the KLS. The winners were:

Category 1: K-2nd Grade:

• Reyansh Bejgum, first place, St. Mary Elementary School.

• Beatriz Ann Bradley, second place, St. Mary Elementary School.

Category 2: 6th-8th Grade:

• Kaitlynn Burrus, first place, St. Mary Middle School.

• Daniel Willett, second place, St. Mary Middle School.

• Macie Dotters, third place, St. Mary Middle School.

Category 9th-12th Grade:

*• Madeline Kerr, first place, St. Mary High School.

• Abigail Boike, second place, Calloway County High School.

• Lexy Smith, third place, Union County High School.

First-place winners in each category were advanced to the national level contest, where Reyansh's poem placed first.

His poem entry can be viewed at the American Chemical Society's website at: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/education/outreach/ccew/illustrated-poem-contest/winners.html

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