Raffi Shahmuradyan, a participant of the All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists and a former student of High School after Heratsi, is now a freshman at the department of biological chemistry at Yerevan State University. “Why biochemistry? It’s probably my most preferred field; I cannot imagine myself anywhere else,” Raffi says. “I try to find biochemistry everywhere, and in the adjacent fields as well. If you take zoology, for instance, or if you tell me anything about physiology, I will still try to look for biochemistry there. Such is my mentality.”
“I studied at High School after Heratsi. In fact, everyone keeps asking me why I didn’t apply for the Medical University and whether I failed my exams. No, I say, it’s no standard story; I applied exactly here, and I got admitted here!”
My love for chemistry has been accidental. Frankly speaking, I had first decided to be a doctor, so I started my private classes. My first thought about chemistry was that I would have to learn it fast to sit the exam for the medical university and be done with it. I thought chemistry was a science to swot up, learn all those formulae by heart and just pass the exam. But the more I studied it, the more I fell in love with it. Frankly, I fell in love! And I am in love to date.”
“And what is the role of the All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists in your love for chemistry?”
“Right from the start I was terribly excited about the Young Chemists’ idea. I took part in the contest within Helium team, and within Oganesson during the recent tournament. This year our coach introduced two teams, i.e. Oganesson, the seniors’ team, and Heratsi, the juniors’ one. It so happened that the juniors beat us, which was even more exciting! Just imagine, we had been helping them all the way through, giving advice and mentoring them, and then they just beat us!” says Raffi with a smile.
“Even now, when I read something interesting at university, what first strikes me is, “What if we include this question in the Young Chemists’ Tournament?” I can definitely state this tournament has urged me to constantly read and discover and learn new things.”
Raffi has also participated in the All-Ukrainian Tournament of Young Chemists as a member of our national team. The team returned with a third-grade diploma, while Raffi with an individual certificate of honor.
“It all came as a surprise to us! We couldn’t even imagine what awaited us; so many people talking about chemistry, working on it as a life goal, all that being so natural and with a true chemistry spirit! Before you know it, you are inspired and excited; the ambience and the people and everything around are all about chemistry!”
“And do you have co-eds that have had any relation to the Tournament of Young Chemists?”
“In fact, the Young Chemists are everywhere!” says Raffi laughingly. “My co-ed is a former participant of the Tournament of Young Chemists, too! He took part in the international round of the Biology Olympiad, and he was the captain of this year’s winning team in the first round. I once took my written work to be reviewed at the Dean’s office of the Chemistry Department. As I entered, one of the employees immediately asked, “Aren’t you the captain of Oganesson team?” It turned out Armen Galstyan, the deputy dean, was our jury member! The Young Chemists are everywhere!”
“What impact, do you think, the All-Armenian Tournament of Young Chemists has on the promotion of chemistry?”
“The tournament is unique in this field. Whoever is anyhow related to chemistry, surely knows about the Tournament of Young Chemists. I am excited about the fact that the participant schools are increasing their teams. The schools do not suffice with just one team any more. There are schools that used to participate in the tournament with one team, and now even three or four teams don’t seem to be enough.
The best part is that I can’t sever my ties with the tournament. The Open Student Tournament is underway, in which the students can participate. I am sharing this news at the university, encouraging everyone to create teams and to take part in the student tournament without fail.”