Education Across Borders: Organic Chemistry Competition in Sudan (OC2-AUW)


REP News - October 2017

Following the impeccable and astounding success of the first Organic Chemistry competition held at Ahfad University for Women (AUW) in December 2016, under the technical assistance agreement between AUW and the American University of Beirut (AUB) represented by the Office of the Vice President for Regional External Programs (REP), the second Organic Chemistry competition (OC2-AUW) in Sudan took place on October 8th, 2017. Both events have been organized by Prof. Bilal Kaafarani, in coordination with AUW and the Office of REP. The aim of these competitions is not only to enhance students’ knowledge and interest in organic chemistry, but also to continue to create transformative education across borders that started with the first organic competition hosted at AUB in 2011. This was fostered through taking the OC competition from a contest at the level of AUW students (OC1-AUW) only, to one which is open to all universities across Sudan (OC2-AUW). The next competition (OC3-AUW) is scheduled to take place on December 17, 2017 and will be open to universities across Africa.

OC2-AUW witnessed a record number of participants from 12 universities across Sudan. The 96 teams (two participants per team) competed in a thrilling, fun, and invigorating atmosphere which resonated throughout both rounds of stimulating questions. The contest was being livestreamed on YouTube and broadcasted to a second hall where distinguished guests and faculty members from various Sudanese universities were watching the event. In preparation for the contest, a demo session was held on October 7 to familiarize participants with the contest’s setting, regulations, and procedure. The demo session also allowed the teams to practice using clickers to answer the questions. On the day of the competition, participants’ excitement and enthusiasm prevailed throughout the whole event. The competition was composed of two rounds of questions. By the end of the Round I, 63 teams had qualified to compete in Round II and automatically advanced to participate in OC3-AUW in December. During the second round, excitement escalated as bonus points were given after each question, to the top five teams with the fastest responses. Round II was over, and it was time to announce the top 3 winning teams: there was a tie between two teams!

Breaking the tie between the second and third place teams necessitated a “sudden death” round of questions. Tension was in the air...the question was displayed, and the poll was open. The two teams deliberated the multiple options and the poll was closed! Results were announced by Dr. Kaafarani and certificates with monetary cash awards were distributed to the top 3 teams, by representatives from both AUW and AUB.

To add more uniqueness to the contest’s atmosphere, all participants headed out of the contest hall in a march videotaped by a drone. The march was concluded with a group photo with all the participants.

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