Sandia LabNews

Regional science bowl winners announced

Sandia volunteers in NM and CA organize four successful events

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THRILL OF VICTORY — La Cueva Team 3 member Aditya Koushik scored enough points to win a round in the New Mexico High School Regional Science Bowl. His team placed third in the competition. (Photo by Craig Fritz)

Hundreds of high school and middle school students from New Mexico and California put their knowledge to the test in regional science bowl competitions sponsored by Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories. The winners advance to the DOE National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C.

The science bowl is like Jeopardy and challenges students with a strong interest and academic ability in math and science. Teams answer questions from various science disciplines, including biology, chemistry, earth and space science, physics and math.

High school winners in New Mexico

  • 1st place – Los Alamos High School Team 1
  • 2nd place – La Cueva High School Team 1, Albuquerque
  • 3rd place – La Cueva High School Team 3, Albuquerque

High school winners in California

  • 1st place – Mission San Jose High School, Fremont
  • 2nd place – Dougherty High School, San Ramon
  • 3rd place – Foothill High School, Pleasanton

Middle school winners in New Mexico

  • 1st place – Los Alamos Middle School Team 2
  • 2nd place – Los Alamos Middle School Team 1
  • 3rd place – Eisenhower Middle School, Albuquerque

Middle school winners in California

  • 1st place – William Hopkins Junior High Team 1, Fremont
  • 2nd place – William Hopkins Junior High Team 2, Fremont
  • 3rd place – Pleasanton Middle School
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CALIFORNIA HIGH SCHOOL WINNERS — The Mission San Jose High School team included, from left, Samuel Zhou, Annie Xu, coach Dorota Sawicka, Sahas Goli, Jerry Yuan and Gokulanath Mahesh Kumar. (Photo by Ray Ng)
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NEW MEXICO HIGH SCHOOL WINNERS — The Los Alamos High School Team 1 included, from left, coach Ali Renner, Isaac Gao, Linnhtet Htoon, Minhtet Htoon, Charles Cai and Mary Couture. (Photo by Debra Menke)
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NEW MEXICO MIDDLE SCHOOL WINNERS — The Los Alamos Middle School Team 2 included, from left, Rafa Rocha, Lydia Davis, Amy Bartlett-Gaunt, Julia Zou and Drew Bacrania. (Photo courtesy of Amy Bartlett-Gaunt)
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CALIFORNIA MIDDLE SCHOOL WINNERS — The William Hopkins Junior High School Team 1 included, from left, Theenash Sengupta, Rutvik Arora, Aniket Mangalampalli, Roshan Annamalai and Anish Agarwal. (Photo by Ray Ng)

The winning Los Alamos High School team consisted of three seniors, one junior and one sophomore. “It was a lot of fun. I met some new people and learned some new things,” said team member Minhtet Htoon, who plans to pursue a doctorate in engineering.

“I was so happy it was in person again. It was great to see all the different teams with so many bright young people and enthusiastic coaches. Everyone was so kind to one another, and it was wonderful to chat with some new people,” said physics teacher Ali Renner, who led the winning team.

Sandia employees coming together

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A LOVE OF STEM — Sandia employees volunteer at the high school regional science bowl at Albuquerque Academy. (Photo by Debra Menke)

Sandia’s Community Involvement and STEM Outreach teams, along with volunteers from different departments across the Labs, organized the four events in Albuquerque and Livermore between January 28 and March 11. The New Mexico and California events drew a total of 265 participants. Volunteers and employees were essential in making the events possible.

“I love Science Bowl. I’ve helped with it about 15 times since 2002,” Sandia engineer Barbara Lewis said. “Volunteers have it easy compared to the students. We just read the questions. They have to answer them. I’m always amazed at how quickly they can come up with the answers, including to math questions, in just five seconds.”

In New Mexico, 36 volunteers served as judges, scorekeepers, timekeepers and organizers behind the scenes, while 65 volunteers assisted in the California events.

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PRIZE WINNING FINISH — Los Alamos High School Team 1 member Linnhtet Htoon, left, and teammate Charles Cai ponder a bonus question during the championship round of the New Mexico High School Regional Science Bowl. Their team won first place in the competition. (Photo by Craig Fritz)

Bigger stakes ahead

The winners of the regional science bowls will compete in the DOE National Science Bowl from April 27 to May 1. At the national event, the top two middle and high school teams will receive $5,000 for their schools’ science departments, and schools that place in the top 16 will win $1,000 for their science departments. The teams must outperform 64 other high school teams and 50 other middle school teams to emerge victorious.

Origins of the National Science Bowl

The DOE created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and pursue careers in these fields. More than 320,000 students have participated in the competition during its 31-year history, making it one of the nation’s largest science competitions. More than 9,000 students are expected to compete this year.

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