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Science is no trivial matter – but that doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!

Aaron Williams, Connor Price, Kiana Murray and Ariana Morris

NHS Students Compete in Nation’s Largest Regional Science Bowl

Do you enjoy local trivia competitions and playing along with televised quiz shows? Well, we dare you to even begin to match smarts with a team of Newport High School seniors who participated in the BPA Regional Science Bowl on Feb. 2.

For the eighth consecutive year, NHS sent a team to the regional competition. This year’s team was comprised of four seniors: Aaron Williams, Connor Price, Kiana Murray and Ariana Morris. Their sponsor, Talented and Gifted (TAG) teacher Kathi Downing, says all four are top students at NHS.

“The NHS kids may not have won the competition, but they certainly won the Congeniality Award! They were always friendly and positive toward their opponents, and brought humor to the often rather tense atmosphere in the room,” Downing said. “The judges in our last round commented on how that was the most fun they had had all morning.”

This was the best attended regional competition yet, with 65 teams competing. There were four rounds in the preliminary competition. The NHS team was pitted against big city schools, including some that have a heavy focus on science and technology — yet they won one of the four rounds and did respectably in the other three.

Here are some sample questions from the Science Bowl:
Which two of the following five amino acids are classified as “basic”because of the structure of their side chains? A) arginine. B) glycine. C) glutamic acid. D) phenylalanine. E) lysine. Answer: A & E

Which of the following is NOT used in determining relative geologic time? A) Principle of superposition. B) Principle of original horizontality. C) Principle of cross-cutting. D) Radioisotope half-lives. Answer: D

Which of the following is NOT true? A) Electrons are directly affected by the strong nuclear force. B) General relativity predicts the existence of black holes. C) A deuterium atom has two nucleons. D) Many cosmologists believe that neutrinos make up about as much mass as all the stars in the universe. Answer: A.

The top winning regional teams were from high schools in Portland and Vancouver, Wash. The top finishing team will travel all-expenses paid to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl April 25-29.

Beyond the prestige of winning and the prospects of the national competition, qualifying members of the top three high school teams will receive offers of $85,000 in scholarships from Oregon and Washington colleges and universities.

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