Elsevier introduces challenges for next-generation of chemists and engineers


Information analytics company Elsevier has launched two game-based learning challenges, the Reaxys ChemSearch Challenge (CSC) and the Engineering Academic Challenge (EAC), to aid development of aspiring chemists and engineers.

The challenges are intended to help students tackle contemporary, real-world problems by embracing a transdisciplinary approach to finding solutions.

Under each challenge, participants will need to take into account external factors such as geography or alternative disciplines to find effective solutions.

The two challenges are global events that use active learning to help teachers and librarians promote information literacy among undergraduate and graduate students, as well as researchers in industry and education.

Elsevier R&D Solutions chief marketing officer Sumita Singh said: “The 21st century presents huge challenges and opportunities for chemists and engineers to tackle. Solving issues such as climate change, sourcing cleanwater, cyber-security and energy production require many brilliant, inquisitive minds to be equipped with the requisite skills and tools to do their jobs.

“At Elsevier, we are developing digital tools for engineers, researchers and students that help them develop the skills they need to be productive and effective in their scientific and engineering pursuits.

"The CSC and EAC are designed to enable students to learn how to utilise some of these sophisticated research and scientific information tools to find answers quickly."

“The CSC and EAC are designed to enable students to learn how to utilise some of these sophisticated research and scientific information tools to find answers quickly so they can invest their time in solving real-world problems and spend less time searching for information.”

Registration for the Reaxys ChemSearch Challenge opened on 27 March and it was officially launched on 2 April at ACS Annual Meeting. The challenge will continue for eight weeks, ending on 26 May.

Under the challenge, participants, either as individuals or in teams, will be presented with a chemistry-related conundrum every week.

These weekly challenge will comprise four to five questions based on different aspects of chemistry such as extreme miniaturisation and pressing society challenges such as antibiotic resistance.

Participants will be provided access to Reaxys while they are solving these questions. They will compete based on accuracy and speed of getting to the answers.

The Engineering Academic Challenge began on 27 March and will run for five weeks until 28 April. It is based on the same principles as the ChemSearch Challenge.

It features five weekly problem sets for participants to solve a few pressing issues facing engineers, such as preventing nuclear attacks and sequestering carbon emissions based closely on the US National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges.

Students will be required to use both the Knovel and Engineering Village databases in order to complete the problems.