Edison Computech Advances to National Science Bowl

February 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
A team of middle school students from Fresno will soon head to Washington D.C. to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy's National Science Bowl.

The competition is a clash of the craniums and it works much like a television game show.

"It's kind of a Jeopardy style competition," said Edison Computech Middle School Coach Lisa Poole.

Students buzz in with their best answers and teams face off against each other in a Round Robin.

"I think it's a little bit nervous," said 7th grader Neil Nitra.

Only the questions are shorter and the kids are quizzed on a range of science disciplines including earth science, physics, chemistry and math, just to name a few.

"It's a lot of fun," said 8th grade student Blake Evans. "The questions get harder each round so it's a lot of studying."

That studying is now paying off. For the sixth year in a row, Edison Computech has won the D.O.E.'s Regional competition, earning the team an all-expense-paid trip to Washington D.C. to compete in the National Finals.

"The level of the questioning is much higher," said Poole. "We're going to do the best we can. I've given them the goal of reaching the Top 16 which we've never done."

The D.O.E's office of Science established the competition in 1991 to encourage students to excel in the challenging, but essential subjects of science and mathematics and ultimately pursue careers in those fields.

Since its inception, more than 225,000 students have participated in what has become one of the nation's largest science competitions. This year about 9,500 more high school students and 4,500 middle school students are expected to participate, many of whom will likely go on to become scientists teachers and engineers.

The competition in Fresno was sponsored by the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers in an effort to boost interest among minority students

"We feel there's a big need for scientists, mathematicians and engineers in the United States and as a growing minority, we feel it's our duty to empower our students to pursue these types of careers," said S.H.P.E. Regional Coordinator Sal Ledesna.

A national shortage students at Edison Computech said they seek to fill, by playing a small, but important role at the National Championships.

"I like science a lot because it seems to explain everything around me," said Nitra. "Science Bowl is a great event that people should join because it tells them about science and you have a lot of fun."

Edison Computech beat out 16 other teams to win them a sport in the tournament in Washington D.C. It's scheduled for April 25 - 29, 2013.


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