Calloway, Gatton Compete in National Science Bowl
By Joe Walker, LATA Kentucky
PADUCAH, KY - Calloway County Middle School of Murray and Bowling Green-based Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science are competing in the U.S. Department of Energy’s 2013 National Science Bowl to be held Thursday through Monday in Washington, D.C.
DOE is paying all expenses for the two schools to travel to the nationals because they won their respective West Kentucky Regional Science Bowl competitions in Paducah in February. Calloway Middle School won the regional middle school competition for the second straight year.
After arriving at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center Thursday afternoon, both teams will go on a night tour of the monuments. On Friday, the Calloway team will tour the museums at the National Mall, coach Scott Pile said. Saturday marks the start of the academic challenge part of the tournament.
“Our goal is to make the Sweet 16 and have a chance to compete for a national title,” Pile said.
Last year at the national competition, Calloway won the Middle School Science Bowl Civility Award for outstanding sportsmanship.
With more than 69 high school and 46 middle school teams, the DOE National Science Bowl is the largest and most prestigious science competition of its type. The teams will participate in fast-paced, Jeopardy-style academic matches answering science, energy, and math questions. Double-elimination matches will follow round-robin tournaments. Finals will be held Monday.
Calloway also will compete Sunday against other middle school teams in racing lithium ion battery-powered electric cars that the teams designed and built. Calloway was among the top six design teams last year. High school teams will solve hands-on science problems.
Pile said his team spent considerable time over the past month working on the car and an engineering design document. A panel of engineers, including a local DOE representative, will interview the students before the race. If Calloway is selected as one of the top design teams, its members will present their design concepts to other middle school teams.
“The kids have put in hours of work on this project, and they are ready to race this car,” Pile said.
DOE created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields. More than 225,000 students have participated in the DOE National Science Bowl throughout its 22-year history.