By Dylan SYLVESTER
The annual National Science Bowl regional competition was held on Saturday at JPL, which has hosted the event for the past 25 years. Twenty-four teams from high schools across Southern California competed to represent the region in the National Science Bowl April 27 through May 1 in Washington, D.C. Coordinated by the Dept. of Energy, this round-robin/double-elimination tournament challenges high school students with questions about chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics and astronomy, as well as other areas, such as Earth and computer science.
In Saturday’s rigorous competition, teams of four represented their high schools. The competition opened with speakers from JPL who talked of the importance for today’s students of scientific and mathematic studies.
Many of the comments were inspirational; one speaker spoke of the journey that led him to JPL, stating that “if you come to JPL you can still be an explorer.”
Students who were earning their degrees at Caltech also offered their insights, and talked about the successes and challenges they experienced in high school. They also answered questions on how to make college aspirations come true.
One of the referees for Saturday’s game was Peter Huang, an aerospace technician who graduated from Arcadia High School and a science advocate. Huang recounted his experiences playing in the science bowl when a student.
Then it was time for the competition. Students demonstrated their knowledge that reflected their extensive training. Among the high school teams was one from Crescenta Valley High School. Although the team was eliminated in an early round, team members shared how they thought they learned a lot from their experience. The competition also provided some insights on how to prepare for future competitions.
Troy High School from Fullerton took home the win and will advance to the national bowl in the spring.