Wheaton High School’s strongest team, Team A, has won the 2018 Maryland/DC Regional Championships and will go on to represent Maryland at the National Science Bowl competition in April. Among 48 teams from 25 schools at the regional competition held at Montgomery College’s Rockville campus on January 13, Wheaton High School defeated Poolesville during the final round.
The winning team consists of freshman Indira Fleet, junior Dominic Manzella, and seniors Nna-Emeka Ejimogu, Ekesh Kumar and Reinatou Coulibaly. The coach, Daniel Bates, is a Blair graduate.
Science Bowl is a fast-paced buzzer competition revolving around classic sciences including physics, chemistry, biology, energy, and earth and space science as well as mathematics. Over 275,000 students participate in the National Science Bowl, which was established in 1991. The National Science Bowl will be hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington D.C.
The regional competition separated teams into eight divisions, using a round robin to determine which 16 teams would advance in the single elimination knockout round.
“The competition was very good this year,” said event coordinator Michael Mehalick. “After having the event going for several years, teams are improving as they practice year after year.”
Although Wheaton’s Science Bowl team was only established a couple years ago, its members are highly devoted, practicing during lunches on Mondays and afternoons and Wednesdays. During regionals, Wheaton also defeated Blair, last year’s champion.
“I am incredibly proud of my students for their victory in the Maryland/DC Regional Science Bowl. They made this happen—they worked extremely hard and came together as a team in the way any coach would dream of,” said Daniel Bates.
During the intermission, former US Forest Service ecologist and policy advisor Richard Pouyat, and his wife, Phyllis Pouyat-Thibodeau gave speeches on the importance of science in public policy.
“It’s not enough to just do your science—it’s also about how you translate your science so that it gets utilized,” Pouyat said in an interview after his talk. “We need to be a little bit more involved in that [public policy] process of translating science. We need that basic core research to happen, but we need to have scientists working at the interface that have [both] a foot in both the policy community and the science community.”
The top 16 high school and top 16 middle school teams in the Nationals round will earn $1,000 for their schools’ science department. The top two high school teams will also win a special prize. Last year, the first and second place high school teams won a trip to Alaska, where they learned about subjects including avian and marine biology as well as glaciology.
Each year, over 17,000 students participate in the National Science Bowl, which prepares students for their future in the world’s growing opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math. U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said, “I am proud to oversee a Department that provides such a unique and empowering opportunity for our nation’s students, and I am honored to congratulate Wheaton High School in advancing to the National Finals, where they will continue to showcase their talents as the top minds in math and science.”
Article by Moco Student staff writer Alice Zhu of Richard Montgomery High School