In 1992, the „Friends of the Chemistry Olympiad” (German: Förderverein Chemie-Olympiade e.V., FChO) were founded by twelve former participants on the occasion of the third selection round for the International Chemistry Olympiad (IChO). This process was chiefly driven by Wolfgang Bünder and Wolfgang Hampe, both being coordinators back then. Through invitations of former participants, contacts between young chemists of different ages have been promoted.  A workshop, held 1990 in Cologne, offered the possibility of presenting chemistry-related topics in a relaxed, yet inspiring atmosphere. This still is the basic idea of all FChO-workshops organised since then.

After the official acknowledgement of the organisation’s non-commercial character in 1992, the first genuine FChO workshop took place in Frankfurt (Main) in 1993. Next to chemical issues, strategies for arising more interest in the IChO, as well as for on-going stimulation of interested pupils, were discussed. 

As a result, successful participants were allowed to participate in the famous Lindau Nobel Laurate Meetings. Likewise, short internships (“Schnupperpraktika”) in different universities and research facilities (e.g. Max Planck Institutes) were offered for the first time. Due to fruitful co-operations with high-school teachers, partnering universities and sponsors from industry, regional seminars could be given in a growing number of federal states – A continuous development until today.

Keeping pace with technological advances, a first version of this homepage went online in 1994. In order to keep the organisation’s members updated, the member’s magazine “Faszination Chemie” was first published shortly afterwards, 1995. The organisation’s fifth birthday in 1997 was celebrated with an anniversary workshop in Stuttgart. In parallel, the first experimental competitions for younger students were designed and held.

For the number of members steadily increased, the FChO’s activities extended, too. Next to the rewarding of already very successful students (e.g. a seminar for the competitors of the fourth national IChO selection round or internships in foreign countries), a greater effort was put into activities that aim at a greater public, like a version of the experimental seminar only for the middle school students. Our organisation’s 20th birthday was accompanied by a big jubilee workshop in Leipzig in connection with a festive colloquium.


FChO-initiated Projects and their Date of Realisation
Workshops 1993
Homepage 1994
Regional Seminars ("Länderseminare") 1994
Short Internships ("Schnupperpraktika") 1995
Member's Magazine "Faszination Chemie" 1995
Vierländerwettbewerb (Competition for Berlin, Brandenburg, Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt) 1995
Chemistry - that's right on! ("Chemie - die stimmt!") 2000
Chemkids (Competition for younger pupils) 2003
Seminar for Participants in the fourth IChO Selection Round 2005
Experimental Seminar 2008
Internships in Foreign Countries for Succesful Participants in the fourth IChO Selection Round 2008
Experimental Seminar for Students from Middle Schools 2012