COCOA, Fla. – Lincoln Middle School, in Gainesville, Fla., is this year’s Southeastern regional winner of the academic portion of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Science Bowl® for middle school students. The event was held Saturday at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). The Lincoln “A” Team must now compete against seven other finalist teams from the region in the Hands-On Hydrogen competition, where they must demonstrate a functional fuel cell-powered model car, for a chance to represent Florida at the national finals in Golden, Colo., this summer. The hydrogen car competition will be held during the EnergyWhiz Olympics on May 3, 2008, at FSEC.
This year’s Lincoln “A” Team members are Matt Banks, Zadia Dupee, Rachel Keen, Rohit Singh, alternate David Liu, and coach, eighth grade science teacher, Roberta Harbrucker.
The morning started by awarding teams with candy for honors like “most creative uniforms” and “longest distance traveled”. Once the candy prizes ran out, the competition for the real prize began. During the first half of the competition, teams were given 20 seconds to discuss and decide on answers to multiple choice questions. This part of the competition ended in a “sudden death” showdown between two schools to determine who would take the final spot among the eight finalist teams continuing on in the competition.
The final eight teams were from Andrew Jackson Middle School in Titusville, Archimedean Middle Conservatory in Miami, Challenger K-8 School of Science and Math in Spring Hill, Lincoln Middle School in Gainesville, Professional Academies Magnet School in Gainesville, Ronald McNair Magnet School in Rockledge, St. Charles Borromeo in Orlando, and Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park.
These eight teams attended an hour-long workshop where they learned how to construct and use hydrogen fuel cells. Using fuel cell kits provided by DOE and General Motors, each of the eight finalist teams must design, construct, and demonstrate a functional model car powered by the fuel cell at the EnergyWhiz Olympics.
After the fuel cell workshop and a relaxing lunch break, it was time for the double elimination round. In this fast-paced portion of the event, each team relied on its individual members to quickly buzz-in and answer questions correctly without consulting their teammates. Hours of intense academic competition passed before Lincoln Middle School was announced the winner.
Taking second and third place awards were, respectively, Trinity Preparatory School and Archimedean Middle Conservatory. The team from Archimedean Middle Conservatory, made up entirely of sixth-grade students, was the youngest team ever to place in the annual competition, with two of its members being only 10 years old.
The U.S. Department of Energy launched its National Science Bowl® competition in 1991. DOE introduced the National Science Bowl’s competition for middle school students in 2002. Since then, approximately 10,000 middle school students and teachers have participated. This year more than 5,000 middle school students from 30 states competed in the DOE National Science Bowl’s regional competitions for middle school students. By participating in National Science Bowl competitions, students are encouraged to excel in science and math and to pursue careers in those fields, which will help develop the workforce that America requires to remain at the forefront of scientific advances, technological innovation and economic competitiveness. For more information, please visit http://nationalsciencebowl.energy.gov.
**Photographs from event are available at