WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Energy has announced the prizes for which middle and high school teams from across the United States will compete at this year’s National Science Bowl, to be held April 25-29, in Washington, D.C.
From a total of 1,894 high school teams that competed in regional competitions this year, 69 teams won spots in the National Science Bowl, and 46 of the 1,023 middle school teams that competed at their regional competitions are advancing to the national finals.
The Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone will represent Maine in the competition.
“The National Science Bowl is one of the most prestigious annual academic competitions. We congratulate the 115 teams of middle and high school students who have earned a spot in this year’s national finals by finishing in the top four percent of the teams that competed regionally,” said Patricia M. Dehmer, deputy director for science programs in the Energy Department’s Office of Science, in a press release. “We hope the National Science Bowl nurtures students’ interest in pursuing careers in science and technology fields, helping our nation remain prosperous and competitive in the world.”
The National Science Bowl is divided into separate competitions for middle and high school students. In the academic competitions, teams of four or five middle and high school students will face-off in a fast-paced question-and-answer format, being tested on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, astronomy and math.
The first-place high school team in the academic competition will win a nine-day, all expenses paid science trip to Alaska, where students will take day trips that provide learning opportunities about glaciology, marine and avian biology, geology and plate tectonics. They will explore the Copper River Delta, known for its prolific runs of wild salmon; hike through the Chugach National Forest’s old-growth hemlock and spruce stands; white-water raft on the Sheridan River and travel across the scenic Prince William Sound and Orca Inlet, home to the world’s largest population of sea otters. The trip also includes visits to Childs Glacier and the Alaska Wildlife Center, a rehabilitation facility for injured and orphaned wildlife.
The second-place high school team in the academic competition will win a five-day, fully guided adventure tour of the Great Salt Lake Park, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. They will hike along the Continental Divide, go white-water rafting down the Snake River and swim in the Great Salt Lake Park before seeing Yellowstone’s geysers, canyons and other geological formations as well as the West Yellowstone Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. They also will hike at Jenny Lake for spectacular observations of wildlife and tour the Upper Snake River Canyon.
The top three teams will receive trophies and individual medals, and the top 16 high school teams will receive $1,000 for their school’s science departments.
In addition to the academic competition, high school teams will be divided into eight divisions and compete in solving hands-on science problems. The division winners in this competition will each receive $500 for their school’s science departments.
The top eight middle school teams in the academic competition each will receive $1,000 for their school’s science department, and the top three teams will receive trophies and individual medals.
In addition to the academic competition, middle school teams will compete in an electric car competition on April 28, where they race electric model cars they have designed and built. The team with the fastest car and the team judged to have the best engineering design each will win $500 for their school’s science departments and the three teams with the fastest cars will receive trophies.
While the academic competition is the primary focus of the weekend, students also will have the opportunity to hear from high-profile speakers on a variety of science topics and to see highlights of the nation’s capital. These activities are designed to further the original goal of the National Science Bowl: to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in those fields.
More than 200,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl since its creation in 1991 and it is now one of the nation’s largest science competitions. DOE’s Office of Science manages the National Science Bowl and sponsors the finals competition.
For more information about the National Science Bowl, please go to http://science.energy.gov/