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Posted: January 13, 2009
U.S. Department of Energy kicks off 19th National Science Bowl
(Nanowerk News) Thousands of high school and middle school students begin a journey this month that they hope will take them to the finals of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) annual National Science Bowl®, America’s largest and most prestigious science competition for middle and high school students. More than 21,500 students from 42 states plus Washington, DC, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands will compete in the DOE National Science Bowl®. It is the only educational event and academic competition of its kind that is sponsored by a federal agency.
“The DOE National Science Bowl is an important part of DOE’s efforts to encourage America’s young scholars to explore the fields of science and engineering,” Dr. Patricia Dehmer, Deputy Director for Science Programs in DOE’s Office of Science, said. “We hope that this activity will inspire a new generation of researchers in disciplines important to solving the energy and environmental issues facing our nation and the world.”
Regional competitions begin this weekend, as students in Maryland and New Mexico kick off this year’s pursuit of coveted spots in the national finals. During the next three months, 15,000 high school students will compete in 67 high school regional competitions and 6,500 middle school students will compete in 36 middle school regional competitions. Each competition tests teams of students in all areas of science and math, utilizing a fast-paced question and answer format similar to the TV game show Jeopardy. Each regional championship team will receive an all-expense-paid trip to the national finals in Washington, DC.
Traditionally, the high school and middle school finals were held in separate cities on separate dates; however, the 2009 DOE National Science Bowl® finals for both the high school and middle school competitions will be held April 30 – May 5, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Over 450 students on 67 high school and 36 middle school teams will participate in the finals. At the national event, the high school students will have the opportunity to participate in science seminars and hands-on science discovery team challenges. The middle school students will participate in a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge.
The teams who advance to the double elimination rounds will earn a monetary prize for their school. Top teams also receive trophies and other awards, including science trips for the high school teams.
High school teams are quizzed on all science disciplines, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science, general science, mathematics, and physics. Middle school teams are tested on a variety of science disciplines including earth, physical, and life sciences, general science, and mathematics.
The DOE Office of Science’s Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists program, which manages the National Science Bowl®, has a number of programs designed to train the next generation of U.S. scientists and engineers with the goal of helping to maintain the nation’s scientific and technological leadership. DOE launched the National Science Bowl® for high school students in 1991 and for middle school students in 2002 to encourage students to choose an education in the sciences and engineering.
Corporate sponsors of the DOE National Science Bowl® include, AREVA, Inc., Bechtel Corporation, IBM, General Motors, Hitachi, MITRE, Shell, and Texas Instruments. Regional science bowl competition sponsors range from small companies to the major universities.