News and Events
PEA Quiz Club Wins Trip to National Science Bowl in Nation's Capital
Monday, March 30, 2009
EXETER, NH (March 30, 2009)—A four-member team of Exonians will travel to Washington, D.C., next month to compete in this year's U.S. Department of Energy's National Science Bowl Championship. The newly formed team of students will face squads from other regional Science Bowl Tournaments during an all-expense paid, weeklong visit to the nation's capital.
Arjun R. Venkatachalam, a senior and team captain from Exeter, NH; Michael H. Levin, a senior and co-captain from Carlisle, PA; In Young Cho, a lower (sophomore) from Seoul, Korea; Ingwon Chae, a (upper) junior from Seoul, Korea; and Jonathon Cai, a prep (freshman) from Bayshore, NY, won in their first visit to the Tri-State (Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont) championship in February, held at the Southern Maine University. There, Exeter was among 16 teams that competed in the Northern New England Regional Qualifying Tournament for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Science Bowl Championship.
This year, both high school and middle school student competitions will be held April 30–May 5, in Washington. While there, more than 450 students on 67 high school and 36 middle school teams will participate in the finals. High school students will have the opportunity to participate in science seminars and hands-on science discovery team challenges; middle school students will participate in a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Model Car Challenge.
Launched in 1991, the National Science Bowl is a competitive science education and academic event among middle and high school students—who compete in a fast-paced verbal forum to solve technical problems, and answer a variety of math and science questions. Regional and national competitions encourage student involvement in math and science activities that are important to the Department of Energy (DOE).
Quiz Club adviser Hunter Farnham described the team's maiden contest as "an exploratory journey," citing each member's little-to-no experience. "We entered (the regional contest) on the last day, and team members practiced only three or four times. This was very much a reconnaissance mission for the future, next year, to find out what it was like," he says. "And we were surprised and pleased we did so well."
To prepare for nationals in April – where competition is expected to be fierce – team members are individually studying earth science and astronomy, the two areas where they answered the fewest questions in the regionals. But all members are extremely excited to visit Washington and compete with their peers in subjects they find fascinating. "I'm really excited about the event in D.C., because you don't get the opportunity often to be in the environment of 300-plus teens that are dedicated to a weekend of science," says Cho, who first competed in the Science Bowl when she was in middle school.
Last year, Venkatachalam was chosen to represent PEA on the New Hampshire team at the Panasonic Academic Challenge in Florida. "It was an amazing experience which really challenged my skills, but I am more excited about the Department of Energy's National Science Bowl because our team works well together. We have a great synergy, which I believe will take us very far," he says.
Cai, the team's youngest member, had heard about the competition before coming to Exeter and was excited to learn this was its first year participating. "I am much more interested in the national bowl, because the competition will be much tougher, and our knowledge will be tested thoroughly. Returning teams have many more years of experience and for us to finish in the top 16 would be extraordinary," he says.
For more information about Quiz Club, contact club adviser, Hunter Farnham at firstname.lastname@example.org or 603-580-2586. To learn more about student activities on Exeter's campus, visit our webpage. A complete list of news and events is available on our website. Upcoming events are also available on our public events line at 603-777-4309. For directions, call 603-777-4330.