BJHS Science Bowl Team: Regional Champions, Qualify for Nationals!


Group photo of BJHS Science Bowl team and coaches

Julia Wilhide, Writer

On January 30, 2021, Bob Jones students competed in the National Science Bowl regional competition. Due to the current situation with Covid-19, the competition was held virtually on Zoom. There were other great teams from this area competing, including a team from James Clemens High School, but the Bob Jones Science Bowl team surpassed the others. The BJHS science bowl team won first place in the region, meaning that they qualify to compete in the national competition! Only the team that wins first place in the regional competition is allowed to advance to the next round, so this is an important win for the team and school.

For those wondering how the National Science Bowl (NSB) competition works, it was a little different this year than it is usually. Mrs. Maguire, one of the team’s coaches, said, “In a normal year, students go head-to-head against another team and buzz in to answer the questions first. This year, the students just had to answer a certain number of questions in a given amount of time to earn points. The team with the most points each round won the competition.”

The National science bowl tests students on their knowledge of many different categories of science, such as: physics, biology, chemistry, math, energy, and Earth science. The Department of Energy (DOE) has stated that, it “created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields.” It seems as if their goal of influencing students to become involved in science has worked out, as the DOE also stated that, “Approximately 315,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl throughout its 30-year history, and it is one of the nation’s largest science competitions.”

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (which sponsors the NSB), each fall, participating “middle and high school students form a team of 4-5 students and a coach, who is usually a teacher.” The 2020-2021 Bob Jones team has five student members and two coaches. The student members are: Puja Chopade, Neha Chopade, Justin Pan, Thomas Nguyen, and Aubteen Pour Biazar. The coaches of the team are Ms. Maguire, a science teacher here at Bob Jones, and Shubham Chopade, a parent of 2 team members.

Ms. Maguire shared in a tweet that, “BJHS science bowl finished in the top 4 at the regional competition for the National Oceanic Science Bowl. This was our first time competing in this contest, so it was a great experience and great showing for Bob Jones! So proud of the dedication these students have to science!” Their dedication to science paid off, and now they have the opportunity to showcase their knowledge at the national level. The National Finals for the NSB are coming up in the spring. The event could either be virtual or in-person, depending on CDC guidelines, and this decision will be made by March 1. If the National Finals are virtual, preliminary rounds will take place during April, and the high school teams that advance from that point will have the National Championship competition on May 22, 2021. If the Finals are allowed to be an in person event, they will be in Washington, DC from April 29-May 3, 2021.

Congratulations to the Bob Jones Science Bowl team on their hard work and well-earned 1st place and qualification for the next round of competition! Good luck at nationals!