Local Cool Kid: Ismael Qureshi

Cool Kid

A Memphis teen represented all of Tennessee at the "You be the Chemist Challenge" in Washington, D.C.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – The thought of chemistry and all the math and science is enough to scare just about anyone. Not Ismael Qureshi.

The Pleasant View school student rose to the challenge and shocked even himself.

“I wasn’t really expecting it,” said Qureshi. “I hadn’t planned for it. It was like a pleasant surprise.”

With all the studying of elements, reviewing formulas, checking and rechecking compounds, Qureshi and his family hoped it would be enough to help the rising freshman.

“We went through the whole thing just like, trying to memorize as much we could,” he said.

One after another, his fellow competitors dropped in the “You be the Chemist Challenge” state competition in Middle Tennessee. The Tennessee State YBTC competition was organized by Dow Chemical Company in Knoxville, Ideal Chemical Company in Memphis, and the Pink Palace Family of Museums.

Ismael beat 29 other participants including five from other Memphis area schools. He was the last person standing.

Back from Washington, D.C. and the national competition, Qureshi proudly represented not only Memphis and West Tennessee, but the entire state.

He said his love of chemistry is growing.

“The competition sort of like introduced me to the chemistry, and that it wasn’t really like, as like, complicated as I expected it to be,” said Qureshi.

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