DHS qualifies for national science bowl
Four members of the Dickinson High School Science Club placed first at the North Dakota Science Bowl regional championship. The students won a trip to Washington, D.C., where they are to compete at the United States Department of Energy's Nationa...
Four members of the Dickinson High School Science Club placed first at the North Dakota Science Bowl regional championship. The students won a trip to Washington, D.C., where they are to compete at the United States Department of Energy's National Science Bowl May 1-6.
They are joining 66 other regional winners at nationals. More than 12,000 high school students from 1,800 schools in 42 states are competing.
The DHS team defeated last year's regional winners Grand Forks Red River High School, which finished second this year. Bismarck High School finished third.
The DHS team not only won an all-expense paid trip to the nation's capital for national competition, but also received $100 gift certificates from Best Buy. Each team member received a T-shirt and medals. The school got a plaque and banner for display.
A total of 24 high school students from across the state competed at the regional competition at Bismarck State College on Feb. 2. Students are quizzed on a variety of science-related topics including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics and astronomy. Some questions are math-related including problem solving.
The DHS Science Club has about 20 students from grades 9-12, but only a few are selected to go onto the regional science bowl. The students going to nationals are seniors Sara Anderson, Seth Rummel, and Ben Zhang and junior Tyler Swenson. Alternate member is junior Mike Malkowski.
Club advisor and DHS science teacher Lisa Holding Eagle said the selection process for those competing is based on attendance and how well students do at practice competitions, but the experience is great for all involved.
"It's a fun challenge and teaches students to think on their feet," she added. "They get exposed to different people and topics."
This is Holding Eagle's second year as an advisor and teacher at DHS. Club practices and meetings are mainly held before school.
"We read questions and figure out the answers," Holding Eagle said. "We try to figure out what we need to work on and students also study independently on their own."
Anderson has been a science club member for four years, but it is her first year competing in the regional and national bowls.
"You have to prepare more for nationals with specific questions," Anderson said. "You have to get a better sense of the questions. The hardest questions for me were about astronomy."
Working on weaknesses is part of the ongoing work for the students, but all were excited when they won.
"It was exciting," Anderson said. "We knew we had to beat a lot of teams and doing that you know you've prepared well and are good."
Science club President Rummel enjoys the challenges. This is his second year going to the science bowl and his older brother Chris competed.
"The questions can get pretty hard, especially with earth science," Rummel said. "It can be tricky because there's a lot of knowledge you just have to know or have memorized."
Swenson has been in science club since middle school. He enjoys learning about science.
"A challenge is the speed of it. You have to be quick," Swenson said. "The best thing is practice."
The competition started with a round- robin style at regional competition followed by a double- elimination round. The DHS team went undefeated in matches against Tappen, Wahpeton and Belcourt. The team went on to beat Bismarck Century High School, Grand Forks Central High School and Red River to become the champions during the double-elimination round.
"Red River came back through the losers' bracket and we defeated them a second time in the championship match," Holding Eagle said. "After not even making it out of the round robin-play last year, it was very exciting to come away with a win this year."
"We knew we had the talent to do well, but were a little surprised I think, at just how well we did," she added. "It's very gratifying to see the study and practice time the students put in pay off."
The DHS team has a winning history. Only a year after the team first competed in the science bowl, it took first place at the regional event and competed at nationals in 2003. Since then, the team has finished in second and third and has placed in competition.
A recent press release stated more than 130,000 students and teachers have been involved with the national science bowl since it was launched in 1991.