Sporting T-shirts depicting a DNA double helix spiraling into a bowl, a team of students from Troy High School in Fullerton, California, won the National Science Bowl regional competition at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. The event was held Jan. 30.
"The whole day we've been on edge, even when we're not competing, since, you know, it's very fast," said Jun Yang, the Troy team's captain, who also designed the t-shirts. "Now that we won, it feels really great. We're excited to go to Nationals."
After surpassing 23 other teams at the JPL event, the Troy team will continue on to the National Science Bowl finals in Washington, which will be held April 28 to May 2.
To do well in the Science Bowl, students must be well versed in a variety of topics relating to Earth and space sciences, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics and math. When competing, participants use buzzers to chime in with answers in a structure similar to a game show. Some questions have open answers, while others are in a multiple-choice format.
Answers to questions in this year's competition included "polymorphism," "electrostatic repulsion," "cerebral spinal fluid" and "rarefaction."
"We really appreciated all of the really hard scientific challenges we had to face today," said Victor Chen, a member of the Troy team.
Coach Nga Ngo described the Troy students as self-motivated and hard-working. She and co-coach Shannon Regli said the team does a lot of studying at home and meets at lunch once a week to practice buzzing.
Each Science Bowl team consists of four participants and an alternate. All the Troy team members said they plan to pursue STEM careers, though each in a different area: chemistry, electrical engineering, engineering/material science, mathematics and medicine.
Temple City High School came in at second place at the JPL event, followed by Northwood High School of Irvine in third. Crescenta Valley High School in La Crescenta received an award for sportsmanship.
The National Science Bowl is designed to inspire students to pursue careers in science or math. In its 25-year history, more than 250,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl. JPL, managed for NASA by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, has hosted the regional Science Bowl for 24 years.
For information about the National Science Bowl, visit
News Media ContactElizabeth Landau
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.