Novice NHS Science Team Bowl Qualifies For Finals
It was an especially gratifying year for the Newport High School Science Bowl team. For only the second time in the 10 years that Newport High has been participating in the NW Regional Science Bowl, the team qualified for the finals.
Considering that Newport is one of the smallest schools of the 72 teams attending this major science tournament, placement among the top 12 finalists was a real accomplishment.
The team, consisting of seniors Jacob Hanna, Rachel Johnson, Sophia Solano, Skyler Pavlish-Carpenter and junior Harley Saxton started off the tournament by soundly defeating a team from Tillamook. They followed up this victory by winning rounds against Southridge High, Parkrose High and Beaverton to go on to the finals. Although they were defeated in the finals, they scored well against their opponents, earning a 12th place overall.
Even more impressive, all NHS team members were newcomers to the Science Bowl competition. “It is always a humbling experience for our students to attend one of these events. Over 350 of the top science and math students from Oregon and Washington compete every year. So much gray matter in one place can be intimidating but at the same time exhilarating,” said Kathi Downing, NHS team coach and academic advisor for Talented and Gifted students in Lincoln County School District.
“One of the things I most appreciate about our students and what makes them stand out in this competitive atmosphere is their friendliness and openness to the other teams,” Downing added. “They would definitely win the Congeniality Award, if there were one.”
Each year the Department of Energy sponsors the National Science Bowl, an annual competition that involves teams of high school students who answer questions on scientific topics in astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics, as well as earth, general science and computer sciences. In order to select a high school team from our region to compete in this highly publicized event, the Bonneville Power Administration organizes the Northwest Regional Science Bowl at the University of Portland. The tournament was held on Saturday, Feb. 1, and involved 72 four- and five-member teams from throughout the region, making it the biggest Science Bowl in the country.