May 15, 2012
Luis J. Sevillano Garcia
National Science Bowl
The Science Bowl is a highly competitive science educational event for High schools and Middle school students, held in the United States. It is based on two teams of four students each, that compete to answer science related questions, which is runned with a buzzer system to determine the student who has the right to answer the question. These students pass a regional competition before attending the the national, all expenses paid. The National Science Bowl has been organized and supported by the United States Department of Energy (US. DOE), since its inception in 1991.
For this year 2012,the 22th National Science Bowl held on the 26 till the 30 of April, in the National 4-H Center, in Chevy Chase Maryland, which has been hosted here since the mid-nineties. since the passing of the years mores science fields topics have been added to the subject categories. however this year the competition made two fundamental changes in its structure: the energy topic has been added to the subject category and what was once Earth Science and Astronomy has been replaced by “Earth and Space Science”. the High school categories are: Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Mathematics, Energy and “Earth and Space Science”. For the Middle school questions its categories include: Physical Science, Life Science, Mathematics, Energy, General Science, and “Earth and Space Science”. Jan Tyler ( the NSB Coordinator) has been in charge of the implementation of some of this categories, because as she said: It’s vital for this students that work hard to participate in this competition to have the latest knowledge on all the advances in science fields and challenge themselves to be the best at them.”
For this and the past 4 NSB have been runned by Jan Tyler, who began as a regional coordinator in 2002 and an assistant in 2005 – 2007 nationals. As the coordinator for the past NSB Tyler says “I acknowledge the exhaustive preparation required to launch this event, but it is all worth it when you see all these students beam with pride. It’s the best reward I get as a coordinator, as well as all my staff.” The NSB includes student representation from all of the 50 States, including PR. and the US. Virgin Islands. We had the participation of over 70 high and middle school teams making it a total of over 700 students.
The Regional Science Bowls (RSB) their own individual coordinators, which then serve as staff in the NSB. The regional coordinator for Puerto Rico was Luis J. Sevillano, a 21 year old student from UPRM, making him the youngest coordinator in NSB history. This impacted several coordinators and alumni (previous competitors in the NSB which are in charge of elaborating the questions for the Bowl), because most of them were adults with jobs on science majors or had previous experiences with science work. One of the most shocked coordinators was Kennan Goodman, the North Carolina RSB coordinator who expressed “It’s amazing who you a 21 year-old student had the time, passion, and commitment to coordinate a competition as prestige as this one”. Goodman who had the privilege to coordinate his regional for the first time this year said: “That it has been one of the most enriching experience of my life.”, because of its purpose and the experience that this students get to have. Through the days we were in charge of the different activities the participants had, such as: experiments, visiting museums, the monuments, science fairs, and last the Bowl.
In this year the school that represented PR. was “Colegio Catolico Notre Dame” of Caguas, which makes this the fourth time of six in the PR. RSB, to participate in the NSB. The coach that trained them was Professor Judith Martinez, who has been proud of representing PR. the four years in the NSB. the PR. team was composed of: Sergio Falcon (Team Captain), Diomedes Dieppa, Gabriel Pacheco, Sebastian Santiago, and Jeancarlos Velez. Through the break of some rounds sessions Falcon said: “We came here to do our best and leave our mark. For us to win is “the goal”, but most important is making a good representation of my country and the learning experience that my teammates and me acquire.” Even though they didn’t pass the double elimination rounds they were pleased with their work. The emerging High School Winning team was Lexington High School, and the Middle School champion was Hopkins Junior High school
As you can see the NSB has become a beacon of motivation for high and Middle school students who dominate and have their goals set on pursuing a Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM), as a future career. And for last as Tyler concluded: “It is our duty and responsibility to give every needed tool by our future generations, as well as to guide and make them challenge themselves into being the best, because that’s what the National Science Bowl is, a tool of greatness for future STEM professionals.”