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FHS brings home second and third


Farragut High School Science Club members competed in the annual Tennessee Science Bowl held Saturday, Feb. 23, at Pellissippi State Technical Community College, and brought home two titles and $1,250 in prize money.

“Our Team One got secondplace and our Team Two got third-place,” FHS chemistry teacher Amanda Wehner said.

“It was really close; we lost to Oak Ridge [High School] in the final round. It was pretty upsetting. We were down to the final question.

“There were 56 teams from all over the state so it was pretty good we got second and third,” she added.

Members of FHS Team One— captain Michael McCormick, Tyler Whittle, Vivec Patel, Kyle Peterson and Timm Moon— won $750, while Team Two— captain Dennis Meng, Evan Lohery, Thomas Dai, Edward Ko and Ruoke Yang, won— $500.

Among the major sponsors for the event were U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education and Pellissippi State Technical Community College.

DiAnn Fileds, spokesperson for DOE, said, “The event is an academic competition featuring teams of students representing 35 various Tennessee high schools.

“The Tennessee Science Bowl is a fast-paced academic competition that offers a chance for teams of high school students to match their wits in math and science. According to competition rules, each team has four to five players, one alternate player, and a coach. The Bowl questions focus on the disciplines of astronomy, chemistry, biology, earth and general science, mathematics, and physics.”

This year’s competition was the largest in the history of the event.

“We’ve seen a gradual rise in numbers for high school teams participating each year, with the current 2008 competition topping the list,” said Greg Mills, DOE Education Coordinator. 

“D-O-E and our co-sponsors are proud to support this tremendous event for our young adults from across the state,” he added.

The competition has the teams facing off in a race to correctly answer each question before the opposing team.

Wehner said, “It is a lot like the scholars bowl. They have toss-up questions and you buzz in. You get points off if you buzz in and you are wrong or you buzz in before they are finished reading. If you buzz in and you are wrong then the other team gets the chance to answer.

“It is timed though, which makes it kind of different. Each round has two eight-minute halves. So depending on how many questions you get through in sixteen minutes, that is all the questions you get,” she added.

The competition is a full-day event.

“There is a preliminary round in the morning and each team plays six rounds. They split the teams into little groups and you play everybody in your group and then the top two teams in each group advance to the championship.

“So you play six rounds in the morning and then in the afternoon it is single elimination, so the top 16 teams play in the first round and then the top eight, the top four and then three and four play in a consolation round and one and two play for the championship,” Wehner said.

“The winner gets to go to nationals, so the boys were pretty upset,” she added.

Gerald Boyd, manager of DOE Oak Ridge Office, said, “The knowledge these students possess is astonishing.

“Although there’s only one top spot in this competition, it’s one of those situations where we wish there could be more than one first-place winner,” he added.

Wehner said she and her Science Club co-sponsor, FHS science teacher Kristin Baska, encourage the students to decide on their own which members of the club will participate in competitions.

“They have practice on Wednesday mornings and Friday afternoons and generally they know who is playing well and who is not, so they pretty much decide who plays,” she added.

 

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