Carmel Catholic students place 1st in three topics at state STEM challenge

  • Bruce Pan '21 of China and Will DeKeyser '21 of Grayslake.

    Bruce Pan '21 of China and Will DeKeyser '21 of Grayslake.

Carmel Catholic High School Communications Team
Updated 6/8/2020 11:28 AM

Carmel Catholic High School's Academic Challenge in Engineering and Science (ACES) team advanced to the state competition, held virtually May 18-22, where Carmel juniors Bruce Pan and Will DeKeyser won first place in three of the seven topics. This marks the school's best-ever result from the competition.

Bruce Pan of China earned 1st place in Mathematics and Physics and Will DeKeyser of Grayslake earned 1st place in Engineering Graphics.


This was Will's third time qualifying for state in Engineering Graphics and his first time winning.

"It has been such a difficult year for everyone in so many ways. It is just nice to see hard work rewarded in such a positive way," said team moderator Suzanne Huntemann.

The team advanced to the state competition after placing second overall at the March 13 sectional competition. Six members of Carmel's team, Viola Zhao '21 of China, Bruce Pan '21 of China, Will DeKeyser '21 of Grayslake, Andréa Jané '21 of Libertyville, Ezzie Posner '20 of Hawthorn Woods, and Ashley Phoenix '21 of Mundelein participated in the state competition.

The Academic Challenge in Engineering and Science (ACES), formerly known as WYSE, is a STEM competition that challenges students with college-level math and science tests and is sponsored by Eastern Illinois University.

The competition offers tests in the subject areas of biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, mathematics, and physics. Tests are designed to present a challenge to the brightest high school students and are presented in a multiple-choice format.

Students have 40 minutes to complete tests that range in length from 30 questions (computer science and math) to 80 questions (English).

The goal of the competition is to foster excellence in mathematics and science while attracting a greater number of talented and diverse students to careers in engineering and the sciences.

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