Competition for Middle and High School Students Highlights Importance of Investing in Next Generation of Science Leaders

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, students from Lexington High School in Lexington, Massachusetts, and BASIS Independent Bellevue in Bellevue, Washington, won the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) 33rd Annual National Science Bowl®, a competition testing students’ knowledge of chemistry, Earth science, biology, mathematics, and other disciplines. This year’s National Science Bowl® finals featured teams representing 44 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, showcasing future leaders in science from across the country.

“Congratulations to the students from Lexington High School and BASIS Independent Bellevue on winning this year’s National Science Bowl®. This accomplishment required scientific curiosity and collaboration—I am excited and hopeful to see these brilliant scientists hone these skills in DOE’s National Labs one day,” said U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy David M. Turk. “The country needs young scientists, like all the finalists in today’s competition, to help solve our world’s toughest challenges. The United States leads the globe in scientific breakthroughs, and we will only continue to do so by investing in the next generation of innovative leaders.”

DOE established the National Science Bowl® in 1991 to encourage students in science and math. This year’s competition began in January with more 10,000 students participating in regional contests.

The finals kicked off on Saturday with 68 high school and 47 middle school regional champions and concluded today at Lisner Auditorium on the George Washington University campus, where Deputy Secretary Turk presented the top three high school and middle school teams with their trophies.

The high school competition came down to Lexington High School and University High School of Irvine, California, with Lexington prevailing by correctly answering the question, “In the Calvin cycle, regeneration of RuBP begins with the conversion of glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate to dihydroxyacetone phosphate. Which of the following types of enzymes is needed for this reaction?” (The answer: Isomerase.) The members of the Lexington High School team are Anuprabha Dandapat, Shreyas Ekanathan, Damon Gurvich, Evin Liang, and David Zhou. They are coached by Nick Gould.

In the middle school competition, BASIS Independent Bellevue and Jonas Clarke Middle School in Lexington, Massachusetts, were the last two teams standing. BASIS Independent Bellevue secured its victory by correctly answering the question, “How many hydrogen atoms are present in one molecule of maltotriose, a trisaccharide composed of three molecules of glucose?” (The answer: 32.) The members of the winning BASIS Independent Bellevue team are Gordon Bu, Katherine Long, Kevin Wu, Timothy Wu, and David Xiao. They are coached by Liping Ke and assistant coach Ning Wu.

The champion and runner-up teams at both the high school and middle school levels each won $5,000 for their schools’ science departments, while the teams finishing in 3rd through 16th place won $1,000.

DOE’s Office of Science manages the National Science Bowl® and sponsors the finals competition. Students will be able to register to compete in next year’s competition beginning in October.