The Charleston Chronicle

High School Teams Vie for DOE’s Savannah River Regional Science Bowl® Championship

  • 2014 DOE Science Bowl winners Lakeside High School, from Evans, Ga., (from left) Gerald Meixiong, Jason Brown, Edward She, Christopher Helmerich, Jessica Ho and Coach, Charlotte Smith.
AIKEN, S.C. – America's next generation of scientists and engineers recently put their knowledge to the test during the Department of Energy's Savannah River Regional Science Bowl Championship. Teams from across South Carolina and the greater Augusta area competed using a fast-paced verbal forum to solve technical problems and answer questions related to math and science, similar in format to the show “Jeopardy.”

This year’s highly competitive contest hosted 120 students from 20 high schools with Lakeside High School coming out on top in first place.

This is the only educational event and academic competition of its kind that tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science and is sponsored by a Federal agency.
Science Bowl teams consist of four students, an alternate and a teacher/coach. Typically, months of practice are required before the competition.

“We’ve been practicing twice a week, during lunch, since August,” said Augusta Christian senior Caleb Westergreen. “It’s given us not only the knowledge we need, but also the boldness to buzz-in and take on a question before the other team. We have the confidence to fail, learn from it and move on.”

According to Candice Dermody, SRNS Education Outreach and Talent Management Manager, this competition tests the student’s science and mathematics skills under pressure. “Their work ethic and dedication to winning is impressive,” said Dermody.

“Nerves are stretched thin throughout each phase of this intriguing contest of wills and use of collective knowledge.”

The Lakeside High School team will be rewarded with an all-expense paid trip to the DOE National Science Bowl Competition to be held in Washington, D.C., April 24-28. A part of the country’s largest science tournament, the national event consists of several days of science activities, sightseeing and competitions. Teams enjoy the entire science bowl experience and take home many prizes. There are cutting-edge science seminars and hands-on science activities as well.

To reach the national level, U.S. teams must win one of 69 regional tournaments.
DOE created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields. Last year more than 9,000 high school students participated.

Augusta Christian Quiz Bowl Coach Beverly Wright noted that these students have learned to win and lose graciously. “They’re bright and quick to encourage one another when needed,” said Wright. “It’s an honor to be a part of this team.”

SRS is one of only four DOE sites to have participated each year at the regional level since the start of the Science Bowl competition.

“The Department of Energy continues to invest in area school systems through the use of academic competition,” said David Moody, Manager, DOE-Savannah River Operations Office. “For years, the Science Bowl has been an excellent way to focus attention on the importance of science and to spotlight the capabilities of our brightest students.”

The United States Department of Energy Savannah River Operations Office provides a variety of science and literacy outreach programs at the Savannah River Site by funding and coordinating the efforts of several organizations.

The primary goals of these outreach programs are to enhance interest in science, mathematics, engineering and technology and to support improvements in education in the Central Savannah River Area by using the unique resources available at the Site.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions is a Fluor-led company whose members are Fluor Federal Services, Newport News Nuclear and Honeywell, responsible for the management and operations of the Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site, including the Savannah River National Laboratory, located near Aiken, South Carolina.

Winning Teams:
Lakeside High School Kershaw, SC
Paul M Dorman Roebuck, SC
SC Governor's School for Science and Mathematics Hartsville, SC
Participants:
Andrew Jackson High School Kershaw, SC
Augusta Christian Schools Martinez, GA
Augusta Preparatory Day School Martinez, Ga
Chapin High School Chapin, SC
CSRA Home Education Association Augusta, GA
Curtis Baptist School Augusta, Ga
Davidson Fine Arts Magnet HS Augusta, GA
Dutch Fork High School Irmo, SC
Evans High School Evans, GA
Greenbrier High School Evans, GA
Hillcrest High School Simpsonville, SC
Irmo High School Columbia, SC
Lakeside High School Evans, GA
Midland Valley High School Graniteville, SC
North Augusta High School North Augusta, SC
Palmetto High School Williamston, SC
Paul M Dorman Roebuck, SC
SC Governor's School for Science and Mathematics Hartsville, SC
South Aiken High School Aiken, SC
Southside High School Greenville, SC
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