Chicago ACS Scholarships: Three Types

    Chicago ACS High School Scholarships

    The Chicago Section offers several scholarships to high school students in support of their college education. Every year in May, the High School Education Committee administers an exam to students nominated by their teachers, and scholarships are awarded based on their ranking in the results:

    $5000 for First place
    $3000 for Second place
    $2500 for Third place
    $1500 for Fourth place
    $1250 for Fifth place

    In addition, we give scholarships for special purposes:

    The Marie Ann Lishka Memorial Scholarship is awarded to the female student who scores the highest: $2000

    The Marshall S. Smoler Award is given to the top-scoring student from Chicago Public Schools: $200

    The Bernard E. Schaar Award, from the Chicago Chemists' Club, is given to the highest-scoring student from the City of Chicago: $500


    Good news!  The Chicago Section of the American Chemical Society is once again sponsoring the 2021 Scholarship Examination. High school students in the Chicago area who are presently enrolled in the first year of high school level chemistry are eligible.  A.P. Chemistry is not considered a first year high school chemistry course.  We are asking teachers to register current students to take the exam (we do ask for student email addresses).  However, due to covid-19, the exam will only be offered online.  Furthermore, we are requiring teachers (or their proxies ) to serve as proctors.  The mechanism for proctoring will be discussed in a later mailing.

    The online exam will be composed of both multiple choice and problem-solving questions, and will last 90 minutes. It will consist of questions and problems representative of a challenging first year high school chemistry course. A calculator may be used during the exam.  Instances of dishonesty will warrant immediate disqualification from the exam competition plus referral to the appropriate high school principal. All exams will be graded as soon as possible.  Details for the online procedures will be available when finalized, but will probably entail connection via Zoom in addition to the online platform for the exam.

    DATE AND TIME:  Sunday May 23, 2:00 to 3:30 pm.


    • Funds are contributed by the chemical industry and by individuals.

    • Teachers of a prize-winning student(s) will receive a one-year membership in the American Association of Chemistry Teachers (AACT). 


    To register student(s) for the Scholarship Exam:

    1. Click on the nominations form link ( ), and enter the requested information.

      2.  Obtain a copy of the most recent official transcript (stamped by school registrar) and official schedule (showing the nominating chemistry teacher’s name) for each student. We recognize that schools may not be able to supply these in a timely fashion, so we will accept screenshots or pdfs of student copies in order to sit for the exam and can be sent by email to [email protected].  Official transcripts and schedules are required to win any scholarship.

     3.  Mail official transcript(s) and official schedule(s) to:

    2021 Scholarship Exam
    Chicago Section ACS
    1400 Renaissance Drive, Suite 312
    Park Ridge, IL 60068

    All forms must be received at the ACS office by Friday, May 7, 2021.

    We suggest sending forms by delivery confirmation.


    High School Scholarship Materials

    H.S. Scholarship Practice Exam 2008 - Multiple Choice

    This is the multiple choice exam used on May 24, 2008, in the Chicago area high school chemistry scholarship competition.

    H.S. Scholarship Practice Exam 2008 - Problem Solving

    This is the extended-response problem solving part of the May 24, 2008, Chicagoland high school chemistry scholarship exam.