DOE “Science Bowl” Challenges Elite Students from Throughout South Carolina and the Augusta Area in Regional Finals

Students take on the toughest questions in science

AIKEN, S.C. (March 7, 2018) – Many of our country’s future scientists, engineers, doctors and mathematicians recently put their knowledge to the test during this year’s U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Savannah River Regional Science Bowl® Competition, which attracted 24 teams from across South Carolina and the greater Augusta area.

Throughout the day-long event, excitement filled rooms within the University of South Carolina Aiken facility where competing teams listened carefully to questions, hands ready to buzz-in, knowing every correct answer is one step closer to representing their school and region at the National DOE Science Bowl Competition in Washington, D.C.

The format used is similar to the television show “Jeopardy,” where team’s face-off during a timed period of fast-paced question-and-answers.  Questions cover a wide range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, energy and math.

“The Science Bowl competition encourages us to expand our knowledge in many science-related areas, and I enjoy the competitive nature of the event,” said Chandler Noe, Captain for the North Augusta High School Science Bowl Team.  Chandler stated that he would recommend this competition to other students, and that it helps to build confidence in showing your knowledge.”

Science Bowl teams consist of four students, an alternate and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach.  This year’s regional contest involves 120 students from 15 high schools and is the only academic competition of its kind that tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science and is sponsored by a Federal agency.

According to Kim Mitchell, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Education Outreach, this competition tests the students’ ability to perform under pressure.  “The teams arrive fully prepared after extensive practice. I’m always impressed with how much information they can retain and how calm they remain,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell also noted that teams frequently depend on the academic strength of each member during this demanding academic contest.  “One member may be their math specialist, while another is their go to person for questions related to chemistry.  They are all science-smart students,” she said.

The Savannah River Site (SRS) is one of only four DOE sites to have participated each year at the regional level since the start of the Science Bowl competition.

The winning team from Lakeside High School, Evans, Ga., will be rewarded with an all-expense paid trip to the National Competition to be held in Washington, D.C., April 26-30.  A part of the country’s largest science tournament, the national event also offers several days of hands-on science activities, seminars and sightseeing.

To reach the national level, U.S. teams must win one of 69 regional tournaments.

A team from Augusta Prep High School, Augusta, Ga., came in second, while third place was achieved by Greenbrier High School, also from the Evans area.

DOE created the National Science Bowl (NSB) in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields.  Approximately 265,000 students have participated in the NSB throughout its 27-year history.

Over the next several months, more than 9,000 high school students and 4,500 middle school students will compete in 70 high school and 50 middle school regional Science Bowl tournaments.  The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science manages the National Science Bowl and sponsors the NSB finals competition.

Volunteers from the community and multiple contractors at SRS work as scorekeepers, timers, judges and many other important functions during the regional tournament each year.  “We heavily depend on our volunteers and greatly appreciate their help,” said Mitchell.  “It’s quite a team effort.”

The Savannah River Site provides a variety of science and literacy outreach programs to reach tens of thousands of students each year.

The primary goals of these outreach programs are to enhance interest in science, mathematics, engineering and technology and to support improvements in education in the Central Savannah River Area by using the unique resources available at SRS.

Participating schools:

Augusta Christian Augusta Georgia
Augusta Prep Augusta Georgia
A R Johnson Team Augusta Georgia
Davidson Magnet School Augusta Georgia
Evans Christian Academy Grovetown Georgia
Evans High School Evans Georgia
Governor's School Hartsville South Carolina
Greenbrier High School Evans Georgia
Grovetown High School Grovetown Georgia
Lakeside High School Evans Georgia
Midland Valley High School Graniteville South Carolina
Nation Ford Fort Mill South Carolina
North Augusta North Augusta South Carolina
Palmetto High School Williamston South Carolina
Westminster Schools of Augusta Augusta Georgia

(Some schools have multiple teams attending the event)

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