By Sherri Shields
March 16, 2015
Florida is one of 50 regional science bowl competitions nationwide that yields the winning team that advances to the National Middle School Science Bowl. This year, 17 middle school teams came to the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida, in Cocoa on March 5 to flex their intellect muscle in a fast-paced question-and-answer competition.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the science bowl encourages middle school students to excel in mathematics, science and engineering. It provides an avenue of enrichment and reward for academic science achievement
Eight Florida finalist teams worked through the double elimination rounds over the course of several hours. Those teams were: Abraham Lincoln Middle from Gainesville, Archimedean Middle Conservatory from Miami, Edgewood Jr/Sr. High from Merritt Island, Falcon Cove Middle from Weston, Forest Grove Middle from Ft. Pierce, Westglades Middle from Coral Springs, West Shore Jr./Sr. from Melbourne, and Westwood Middle from Gainesville.
The intense competition went into a tiebreaker. Abraham Lincoln Middle, which had teams in previous years advance to nationals, lost early to Westwood Middle, a school new to science bowl. Westwood’s coach, Adrienne Thieke, previously coached Abraham Lincoln Middle where she also taught. “I’m extremely proud of both teams,” said Thieke.
Lincoln bounced back from their loss to Westwood and went on to compete against undefeated Archimedean. To everyone’s surprise, Archimedean lost to Lincoln. Since the competition was a double elimination, Archimedean and Lincoln had to play again, each having one loss. In the tiebreaking round, Lincoln had a resounding win over Archimedean. West Shore Jr/Sr High School from Melbourne placed third.
“The students were impressive, not only in their science and mathematics knowledge and skills, but also in how well they conducted themselves. All were gracious, whether they won or lost. It gives me great hope for the future!” said Jennifer Thompson, Secretary for the Space Coast Science Education Alliance.
The National Middle and High School Science Bowls will be held in Washington D.C. on April 28 – May 2, 2016, where Abraham Lincoln Middle School will compete. The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science covers the travel and lodging expenses for all regional winning teams, which includes five team members and their coach.
Bright House Networks sponsored this year’s regional competition in Florida, which was conducted by the Space Coast Science Education Alliance.
For more information about the National Science Bowl, visit http://science.energy.gov/wdts/nsb/