AIKEN, S.C., March 16, 2022 – Many of our country’s future scientists, engineers and mathematicians recently put their knowledge to the test during this year’s U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site (SRS) Regional Science Bowl® Competition, which attracted 18 teams from across South Carolina and the greater Augusta, Georgia area.
This year's winning team from Lakeside High School, Team #1, Evans, Georgia, has earned the right to represent the Savannah River Site Science Bowl as Regional Champions in the spring. A decision will be made in early March to determine if the national event will be virtual or in person.
Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, Team #1, Hartsville, South Carolina, came in second, third place was achieved by Nation Ford High School, Team #1, Ft. Mill, South Carolina, while fourth place was awarded to Lakeside High School, Team #2, Evans, Georgia.
In the virtual competition, team members were in “virtual rooms” competing against every other team for the highest score. The team listened carefully to questions, raising a hand to answer within a very small window of time.
The format used is similar to the television show “Jeopardy,” where teams face-off during a timed period of fast-paced question-and-answers. Questions cover a wide range of academic disciplines including biology, chemistry, energy, math, physics, earth and space science.
Science Bowl teams consist of four to five students and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach. This year’s regional contest involved students from 13 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 quickly and confidently under pressure. “Practice is always a critical part of their preparation,” she said. “However, teamwork, along with academic performance, makes a difference as to who succeeds.”
Mitchell also noted that teams frequently depend on the academic strength of each member during this demanding tournament. “One student may excel in math while another excels in chemistry,” she added.
SRS is one of only three DOE sites to have participated each year at the regional level since the start of the Science Bowl competition.
Adam Kraft, a chemistry instructor at Westminster Schools of Augusta, stated that the event has much to offer far beyond what would be normally expected.
“Preparing my students for Science Bowl has been rewarding as it allows me to mentor and connect with them through science outside the classroom,” said Kraft. “Students benefit from this competition as it allows for them to grow and stretch as they learn and explore new scientific concepts and skills while finding opportunities for the development of teamwork and leadership skills.”
DOE created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields. Approximately 300,000 students have participated throughout its 31-year history.
Volunteers from multiple SRS contractors and the community worked as Moderator/Timers, Question Judge/Chatbox Scorers and Recognizer/Scorekeepers during the regional tournament this year. “We greatly appreciate the expertise and experience provided by each official,” said Mitchell. “This event could not be held without their support.”
SRS provides a variety of science and literacy 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.
(Each school may enter multiple teams)
- Aiken Scholars Academy, Aiken
- Augusta Preparatory Day School, Martinez, Ga.
- D. W. Daniel High School, Central
- Eschool, Richmond County, Ga.
- Evans High School, Evans, Ga.
- Greenbrier High School, Evans, Ga.
- Hunter Kinard Tyler, Orangeburg
- Lakeside High School, Evans, Ga.
- Lowcountry Preparatory School, Pawleys Island
- Ford High School, Fort Mill
- Riverside, Greer
- SC Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, Hartsville
- Westminster Schools of Augusta, Augusta, Ga.
Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, a Fluor-led company with Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, is responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site located near Aiken, South Carolina.
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