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Students from California and Texas win DOE's 25th National Science Bowl

Washington D.C. – Students from Mira Loma High School in Sacramento, CA won the 2015 U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl® (NSB) today in Washington D.C., the school’s fifth championship. This year’s championship team in the middle school competition is Fort Settlement Middle School from Sugar Land, TX.

“I congratulate this year’s National Science Bowl Champions, as well as all of the finalists, for advancing through this rigorous and prestigious academic tournament,” said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. “The students participating in the 25th annual competition represent our nation’s future scientists and engineers who will help sustain America’s scientific and technological competitiveness in the 21st century.”

Altogether, about 9,000 high school students and 5,300 middle school students from all 50 U.S. States, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands participated in this year’s regional competitions.

In the high school competition, Mira Loma High School defeated Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology from Alexandria, VA by correctly answering a question about a gene-editing technology developed by DOE’s Joint Genome Institute. The members of the winning high school team are Daniel Shen, Arvind Sundararajan, Jack Gurev, Roger Yu and Claire Burch, and they are coached by James Hill.

The top two high school teams emerged victorious from a field of 68 high school regional champions who came to D.C. to compete in the National Science Bowl® Finals.

For winning the national championship, Mira Loma High School will receive a nine-day, all-expense paid science trip to Alaska. While on the trip, the students will take day trips that provide learning opportunities about glaciology, marine and avian biology, geology and plate tectonics. They will explore the Copper River Delta, known for its highly prized stocks and prolific runs of wild salmon; experience the mystical appeal of old-growth hemlock and spruce while hiking through the Chugach National Forest; white-water raft on the Sheridan River and travel across the scenic Prince William Sound and Orca Inlet, home to the world’s largest population of sea otters. The trip also includes visits to Childs Glacier and the Alaska Wildlife Center, which is a rehabilitation facility for injured and orphaned wildlife.

For finishing second, Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology will receive a five-day, fully guided adventure tour of the Great Salt Lake Park, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. They will hike along the Continental Divide, go white-water rafting down the Snake River and swim in the Great Salt Lake Park before seeing Yellowstone’s geysers, canyons and other geological formations as well as the West Yellowstone Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. They also will hike at Jenny Lake for spectacular observations of wildlife and tour the Upper Snake River Canyon.

The top three high school teams received trophies and individual medals, and the top 16 high school teams won $1,000 for their school’s science departments.

In the middle school competition, Fort Settlement Middle School from Sugar Land, TX defeated Roberto Clemente Middle School from Germantown, MD. The members of the winning middle school team are Sameer Rajesh, Rafay Ashary, Akash Karanam, Abhijith Venkat and Archer Wang and they are coached by Karen Staley.

The top two middle school teams emerged victorious from a field of 48 middle school regional champions who came to D.C. to compete in the National Science Bowl® Finals. The top 16 middle school teams in the academic competition won $1,000 for their schools’ science departments, and the top three teams received trophies and individual medals.

DOE created the National Science Bowl® in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields. More than 250,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl® since its creation. Students may sign up to compete in next year’s National Science Bowl® competition beginning in October.

Additional information about the teams and the National Science Bowl® is available at: http://science.energy.gov/wdts/nsb/.

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