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State College Area High School From State College, PA Wins DOE's National Science Bowl®

May 1, 2006 - 10:34am


WASHINGTON , DC - State College Area High School from State College, Pennsylvania, today won the Department of Energy's (DOE) National Science Bowl®. Teams representing 65 schools from across the United States competed in this "Science Jeopardy" competition, which concluded this afternoon.

Members of the winning team include Jason Ma, Ylaine Gerardin, Barry Liu, Galen Lynch, Francois Greer and coach, Julie Gittings. This team won a research trip to France and $1,000 for their school's science department. The answer that clinched the championship was in response to an earth science question about earthquake concentration zones.

"I would like to congratulate State College Area High School for their victory in the Department of Energy National Science Bowl®," Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman said. "All of the young people in this competition demonstrated a mastery of a variety of scientific and technical subjects. These students embody the excitement in science and mathematics that we are trying to promote through our American Competitiveness Initiative. By working together to energize our science funding, the U.S. will remain the world's leader in science, engineering, and discovery."

"In our global knowledge economy, mathematics and science skills are becoming increasingly essential in fields from business to media to policymaking. This competition showcases the talents of outstanding young problem- solvers who have the potential to improve the lives of people around the world. I truly enjoyed the chance to see the students in action," Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings said.

As part of the American Competitiveness Initiative, President Bush has proposed to double the funding for basic research in the physical sciences to nearly $19.5 billion in 2016. This increased investment will begin in Fiscal Year (FY) 2007, as the President has requested $10.66 billion (a 9.3 percent increase over FY 2006) for basic science research at DOE's Office of Science, the National Science Foundation, and the Department of Commerce's National Institute of Standards and Technology. With this funding, the Office of Science will be able to support about 2,600 more researchers than in 2006.

DOE's Office of Science stands to gain more than $500 million in FY 2007 as part of the American Competitiveness Initiative. If the ACI is fully funded by Congress, the Office of Science's budget will increase from $3.6 billion in 2006, to $4.1 billion in FY 2007, and eventually to $7.19 billion in 2016. The Office of Science is the principal supporter of DOE's world-class national laboratory system that will lead the way in innovations including high-end computing, nanotechnology, biotechnology, energy sources, and other material science research.

The American Competitiveness Initiative will also support educational activities, such as the DOE National Science Bowl®, in an effort to excite more middle and high school students to take mathematics and science classes.

More than 300 students competed in this weekend's 16th annual DOE National Science Bowl® tournament. Earlier this spring, more than 12,000 students from 1,800 schools across the country participated in 65 regional Science Bowls. The winners of the regional Science Bowls earned the right to compete in the national finals in Washington, DC, and received all-expense paid trips to the DOE National Science Bowl®. DOE recognizes all the students who competed as true mathematics and science stars, representing the nation's next generation of scientists and engineers.

DOE created the National Science Bowl® in 1991 to encourage high school students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields. The Department supports mathematics and science education to help provide a technically trained and diverse workforce for the nation. More than 100,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl® throughout its 16 year history.

Placing second in the DOE National Science Bowl® was North Hollywood High School from North Hollywood, California. Team members are Joseph Chang, Alex Yen, Denise Ye, Timothy Hsieh, John Chen and coaches, Len Soloff and Rishita Shah. The team won a trip to the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, a DOE national laboratory, in Newport News, Virginia.

The third place team was Santa Monica High School from Santa Monica, CA, including Benjamin Lucas, Dimitry Petrenko, Bennett Rankin, ZeNan Chang and coach Ingo Gaida, whose prizes included TI-83 silver edition calculator and Computer Based Laboratories II.

The fourth place team was Albany High School from Albany, CA including Zi Wang, Ian Allen, Bing Xia, Jackie Quinn, Andrey Poletayen, and coach, Peggy Carlock. The team's prizes included TI-83 silver edition calculator.

Star Lane Center from Casper, Wyoming, won the Civility Award for outstanding sportsmanship. Team members are Emma Barrasso, Cabot Crump, Dane Patey, J. Stephen Pye, Eric Yeager and coach, George Vlastos. They won a trip to the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Colorado.

The top 16 teams received $1,000 for their schools' science departments. The other 12 teams winning this cash prize included:

  • East Chapel Hill High School, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
  • East Rankin Academy, Pelahatchie, Mississippi
  • Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Sudbury, Massachusetts
  • Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Pinecrest, Florida
  • Parkview High School, Lilburn, Georgia
  • Poudre High School, Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Regina Education Center, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Smokey Hill High School, Aurora, Colorado
  • The Harker School, San Jose, California
  • Thomas Jefferson for Science and Technology, Alexandria, Virginia
  • Timberline High School, Boise, Idaho
  • Ward Melville High School, East Setauket, New York

This year's corporate sponsors were AREVA, Inc, Bechtel, General Motors, IBM, and Texas Instruments.

On Saturday, April 29, two teams won in separate competitions of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge. The Maine School of Science and Mathematics of Limestone, Maine, won first place in the "king of the hill" competition and Woodrow Wilson High School of Portland, Oregon, placed first in the "speed race." They were among 16 teams, chosen by lottery, to compete.

The DOE Office of Science manages the DOE National Science Bowl.

A photo of the State College Area High School winning team and more information about the DOE National Science Bowl® is available at

Media contact(s):

Megan Barnett, (202) 586-4940
Ed Greenberger, (561) 379-7933