Future scientists, engineers and mathematicians put their knowledge to the test during the regional competition, which attracted 18 teams from across South Carolina and the greater Augusta, Georgia area earlier this year.
Team #1 from Lakeside High School won the regional event and will take part in the National Semi-Finals Virtual Tournament on May 21.
A team from Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics in Hartsville, South Carolina, came in second, followed by a team from Nation Ford High School in Ft. Mill, South Carolina, and a second team from Lakeside High School, respectively.
Teams competed against each other in virtual “rooms” during the regional competition held online. Students raised their hands to answer questions with limited time — similar to the television show “Jeopardy,” where participants face off during a timed period of fast-paced questions and answers.
In the Science Bowl, questions cover a wide range of academic disciplines, including biology, chemistry, energy, math, physics, and earth and space science.
The 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.
The competition tests the students’ ability to perform quickly and confidently under pressure, according to Kim Mitchell, the lead for the education outreach division at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), the SRS management and operations contractor.
“Practice is always a critical part of their preparation,” she said. “However, teamwork, along with academic performance, makes a difference as to who succeeds.”
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.
“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 Adam Kraft, a chemistry instructor at Westminster Schools of Augusta. “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.
Volunteers from multiple SRS contractors and the community worked as competition officials during the regional event.
“We greatly appreciate the expertise and experience provided by each official,” Mitchell said. “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 the outreach programs are to enhance interest in science, mathematics, engineering and technology (STEM) and to support improvements in education in the Central Savannah River Area by using the unique resources available at SRS.
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