On Saturday, Feb. 23, students from throughout the state of Tennessee descended upon Pellissippi State Collegeâ€™s Blount County Campus to compete in this yearâ€™s U.S. Department of Energyâ€™s annual Tennessee Science Bowl competition.
Fifty-five high school teams representing 25 Tennessee counties answered competition questions covering broad disciplines including chemistry, biology, earth and space science, mathematics, physics, and energy. However, in the end, Summit High School from Spring Hill, Tenn. edged out their competitors to win first place.
Summit High received a $1,000 cash prize, a first-place trophy, and an all-expense paid trip to the DOEâ€™s National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C., on April 25-29, when they will compete against other winning teams from around the nation.
Trophies and cash prizes were also awarded to the second, third, and fourth place winning teams: Bearden High School (Knoxville) received $750 for taking second place; the third place team, Ravenwood High School Team 1 (Brentwood) received $500; and, the fourth place team, Ravenwood High School Team 2, received $250. The winner of the Civility Award, given to the team that most consistently demonstrates sportsmanship characteristics, was awarded to Cedar Springs Home School in Knoxville. They received a check for $100.
â€œStudent participants in the Tennessee Science Bowl develop, practice, and train just as an athlete on any high school team sport.â€ said Oak Ridge National Laboratory Site Office Manager Johnny Moore. â€œCountless hours are devoted to training by the students and their dedicated teachers and coaches. Today, more than any previous time, it is vital to the nation and world to develop youth well-versed in science and math. They will be the scientists and engineers of the future, the very people able to face and solve challenging technical issues facing the world.â€
Sponsoring an event of this size requires countless volunteers and numerous hours of their time as well as financial support. Without volunteers or financial support this event would not be possible. Major sponsors of the Tennessee Science Bowl include the DOE, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Pellissippi State Community College, and the Tennessee Valley Authority.
DOE launched the National Science Bowl competition in 1991 to encourage high school students to excel in science and math and to pursue careers in those fields. The National Science Bowlâ€™s high school competition now involves more than 13,000 students, and is the only science competition in the United States sponsored by a federal agency.