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Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

the hoofprint

Walnut High School | 400 Pierre Rd. Walnut, Calif. 91789

From grandfather to grandson, junior Boris Chuang inherits a love for chemistry

Chloe Tan

Taking a pencil in his hand, junior Boris Chuang methodically lays out the answer to a complex chemistry question, watching as a flash of realization and understanding spreads across his classmate’s face.

Chuang is currently taking AP Chemistry, actively studying for the Chemistry Olympiad and plans to major in biochemistry in college. Through his expansive knowledge of chemistry, Chuang is able to assist classmates with difficult topics.

“Honestly, my favorite experience has been going to study groups and helping other people. Not only does it expand my understanding of chemistry, but how to teach as well,” Chuang said. “Being able to interact with more people was really fun, but learning new stuff for the chemistry Olympiad is really fun as well because you’re not just restricted to the curriculum of AP.”

Chuang splits chemistry into two distinct areas: mathematics and interactions. 

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“The mathematics of chemistry is really fun, but it’s also the aspect of understanding the interactions that occur between matter. So you have to know both aspects. It can’t just be math and it can’t just be understanding the interactions between it either.” Chuang said. 

Chuang acknowledges that chemistry has been ingrained in his life before he was even conscious of his passion for it.

“One thing in my life that I’ve always seen as chemistry being tied to my life in a way was my grandfather. He took a lot of medicine and I noticed that it’s obviously super important for the medicinal industry, but then I also saw through the media the effects of drug abuse right now and how bad it is,” Chuang said. “It was fascinating in a way that chemistry could be looked at both ways, like a duality of some sort where it could be really good and bad and it can also switch between those with one different bonding interaction with one molecule.”

However, Chuang attributes his current interest in chemistry to his chemistry teacher Garrett Lim and content creators such as NileRed and That Chemist. Chuang took Chemistry Honors and AP Chemistry with Lim, leading him to discover his passions through Lim’s distinct teaching style. 

“Before Chemistry Honors, I liked watching NileRed videos and That Chemists’ videos; they really drew me into the topic. So I wanted to follow in their footsteps,” Chuang said. “Though I think it really started when I was in Mr. Lim’s class for Chemistry Honors. The passion he gave as a teacher seemed like he was really interested in teaching, not just chemistry, but just teaching in general and interacting with students in a way that doesn’t feel so formal. It felt like an isolated relationship between teacher and student.”

Chuang hopes to use chemistry to alleviate some of the current problems with medicine and chemistry.

The limits to chemistry are what defines drugs and their usage. I want to push that limit. 

“My grandfather uses medicine to stabilize his health, even though I don’t think it’s the healthiest way. As of right now, the limits to chemistry are what defines drugs and their usage,” Chuang said. “I want to push that limit.” 

On March 13, Chuang, along with most of his AP Chemistry classmates, will take the state level of Chemistry Olympiad testing here at Walnut, with all hoping to move on to national testing in April.

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About the Contributor
David Kang, Online editor-in-chief and In-depth editor
Hi my name is David Kang, I'm in the 11th grade, and I'll be the Online editor-in-chief and In-Depth editor for The Hoofprint. Outside of The Hoofprint, I enjoy baking and basketball as some pastimes.
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