Teams of high-school and middle-school students across the country can register to compete in the 24th annual Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl.
Thousands of students compete in the contest annually and it has grown into one of the largest academic math and science competitions in the country. The top two high-school teams nationwide win educational adventure trips and the top middle- and high-school teams win money for their schools’ science departments.
“Participating in the National Science Bowl both regionally and at the national championships encourages student involvement in math and science activities, which is of importance to the Department of Energy and the nation,” said Patricia M. Dehmer, acting director of the DOE Office of Science, which manages the National Science Bowl and sponsors the NSB finals competition. “These students represent our nation’s future science leaders. We wish them success in their efforts to reach the National Finals in Washington, D.C.”
Teams of students can sign up to participate in the NSB by registering with the coordinator for their local competition, which they can find on the NSB website. Separate competitions are conducted for high school and middle school. Regional competitions for each area typically last one or two days and take place throughout the country between January and March.
During the regional and national competitions, students participate in a fast-paced verbal forum to solve technical problems and answer questions from all branches of science and math. Each team is composed of four or five students and a teacher who serves as a coach. Teams can find sample questions on the NSB website to help prepare for the competitions.
The winning team from each qualifying regional competition will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to compete in the national finals in Washington, D.C., from April 24-28. The national events include several days of science activities, sightseeing and competitions. As part of the national finals, middle-school students design and race lithium ion battery-powered model cars. High- school students compete in team science challenges in addition to participating in the academic competition.
The prizes for the top two high-school teams for the 2014 NSB will be announced at a later date. The high school team that won the 2013 NSB received a nine-day, all-expenses-paid science trip to Alaska, where they learned more about glaciology, marine and avian biology, geology and plate tectonics. The second-place high-school team at the 2013 NSB won a five-day, guided adventure tour of several national parks, which included a whitewater rafting trip.
The top 16 high-school teams and the top eight middle-school teams in the National Championship also win $1,000 for their schools’ science departments.
Last year, approximately 14,000 high-school and middle-school students from 49 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico competed in the NSB.