Department of Energy

Students from Massachusetts and California win DOE’s 27th National Science Bowl®

May 1, 2017

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Successful Competition Highlights Importance of Investing in Next Generation of Leaders in Science

Washington, D.C. – Students from Lexington High School in Lexington, Massachusetts, won the 2017 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl® (NSB) today in Washington, D.C. This year’s championship team in the middle school competition is from Joaquin Miller Middle School in San Jose, California.

“Congratulations to this year’s National Science Bowl Champions from Lexington High School and Joaquin Miller Middle School, as well as all of the other finalists, for their outstanding accomplishments in this challenging academic tournament,” said Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “These students represent the future leadership and innovation that will allow American science and engineering to excel in the 21st century. I encourage all of them to continue their hard work and dedication. One day I hope to see you working at one of our flagship national laboratories and being role models for the next generation of STEM students.”

The top two high school teams emerged victorious from a field of 63 high school regional champions who came to D.C. to compete in the National Science Bowl® Finals. Altogether, about 9,000 high school students and 5,100 middle school students from across all 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico participated in this year’s regional competitions.

Lexington High School defeated Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology from Alexandria, Virginia by correctly answering the physics question, “To the closest integer, what is the ratio of the energy radiated by a 7.8 earthquake to that radiated by a 6.8 earthquake?” with the correct answer, “32.” The members of the winning high school team are Catherine Wang, Derik Kauffman, Joshua Park, Benjamin Choi, and Anka Hu, and they are coached by Nicholas Gould and Robert Pohlman.

For winning the national championship, Lexington High School will receive a nine-day, all-expense paid science trip to Alaska. While on the trip, the 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 highly prized stocks and prolific runs of wild salmon; experience the mystical appeal of old-growth hemlock and spruce while hiking through the Chugach National Forest; and 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, which is a rehabilitation facility for injured and orphaned wildlife.

For finishing second, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology will receive a seven-day, fully guided adventure tour of Cordova, Alaska. They will travel by boat up the Copper River to Childs Glacier to learn about glaciology and hike through the Heney Ridge Trail to experience three complete ecosystems. They also will learn about the diverse marine life in tidal pools and see the historic Million Dollar Bridge.

The top three high school teams received trophies and individual medals, and the top 16 high school teams won $1,000 for their schools’ science departments.  

In the middle school competition, Joaquin Miller Middle School defeated Odle Middle School from Bellevue, Washington. The members of the winning middle school team are Jonathan Huang, David Hu, Wilson Ho, Michael Zhao, and Alexander Zhang, and they are coached by Raymond Huang and Vibha Walia.

The top two middle school teams emerged victorious from a field of 48 middle school regional champions who came to D.C. to compete in the National Science Bowl® Finals. The top 16 middle school teams in the academic competition won $1,000 for their schools’ science departments, and the top three teams received trophies and individual medals.

DOE created the National Science Bowl® in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields. More than 275,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl® since its creation. Students may sign up to compete in next year’s National Science Bowl® competition beginning in October.

DOE’s Office of Science manages the National Science Bowl® and sponsors the finals competition.

Additional information about the teams and the National Science Bowl® is available at: