A JPL-sponsored team of math and science students from Arcadia High School will compete in this year's National Science Bowl, to be held May 1-4 at the National 4-H Center in Chevy Chase, MD.
The team will compete with schools across the country in a rapid-fire question-and-answer competition similar to the old television program "College Bowl," designed to encourage students to excel in math and science and to pursue careers in those fields. Categories in this year's competition will include astronomy, biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer, earth and general sciences, and current events in the scientific and technical community.
"This is an exceptional team of students whose sole goal since June has been the pursuit of the national championship," said Wayne Lee, mission planner on the Mars Global Surveyor mission and one of the Arcadia High School coaches. "Their knowledge and experience makes them one of the favorites to win this year."
Arcadia is making its third consecutive appearance in the national tournament for Science Bowl. This year's five-member team features three returning players who almost won the 1997 tournament, and one returning player who was a finalist in the 1996 tournament.
During the 1997 and 1998 regional tournaments to qualify for the nationals, Arcadia went undefeated and won each game by an average of 125 points. This year, the team defeated Warren High School in Downey in the final match of the Los Angeles County Regionals with a score of 228-14.
"The team's success this year comes from the fact that they have been practicing every week since June 1997, and have the nucleus of last year's team returning to play this year," Lee said. "Most of the team has given up a substantial portion of other extracurricular activities, both academic and athletic, to concentrate on winning the national championship."
The finalists from Arcadia High School are:
Alex Fabrikant - Senior and team captain. A four-year starter on Arcadia's varsity team, making his third consecutive trip to the nationals.
Alex Hong - Junior and second in command. A two-year starter (1997 and 1998) on Arcadia's varsity team, making his second trip to the nationals.
Vincent Auyeung - Freshman and a first-year starter on Arcadia's varsity team.
Silvia No - Sophomore and first-year player who is majoring in biology.
Brian Li - Senior and second-year player, who will be making his second trip to the nationals.
Barbara Young - Co-coach of the team who is an advanced placement chemistry teacher at Arcadia High School.
This year's national competition is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. Additional information about the competition is available at http://www.er.doe.gov. Media may follow the competition over the weekend or obtain results by contacting the National Science Bowl Media Center at (301) 961- 2993 or (301) 961-2903.
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