PR 06-16 BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016
CONTACT: Kevin Wingert, 503-230-4140
Students flex brainpower at 25th anniversary of largest regional science bowl in nation
Westview High School wins berth in the National Science Bowl
Portland, Ore. -- Three-time champion Westview High School Team 1 of Beaverton, Ore., proved unstoppable Saturday afternoon in the Bonneville Power Administration Regional Science Bowl at the University of Portland. In the 25th anniversary event, Westview overcame a strong challenge from second-place finisher Lincoln High School of Portland.
Catlin Gabel School Team 1 of Portland finished third, and Sunset High School Team 1 of Beaverton, Ore., was fourth among 59 teams of math and science whizzes from schools across western Oregon and western Washington.
The nation's largest regional science bowl highlighted the intellectual and competitive energy of more than 250 high school students vying for an all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Department of Energy's National Science Bowl from April 28 to May 2.
"The final round was definitely nerve-racking, but that's what makes Science Bowl great," said Bryan Lee of Westview's Team 1.
"A lot of it depends on speed," said his teammate, Anthony Zheng. "That makes it more exciting than just sitting at a desk."
Beyond the prestige of winning and the prospect of the national competition, BPA and science bowl volunteers have worked to establish partnerships with universities and colleges in the region to offer scholarships for the top three teams in the high school division. In all, 17 colleges and universities in the Northwest offered members of the top teams a chance at more than $300,000 in scholarships.
Amid the fast-paced scoring, wins and losses, the day also had its entertaining moments.
"It's really fun," said Beaverton High team captain Cole Cavanaugh. "My favorite part might have been sharing looks of despair -- or maybe just acceptance -- when the really random, weird or obscure questions came up. At one point, someone from another team guessed, 'The Beatles?'"
Ming Liu, the captain of Team 1 from Mountain View High School of Vancouver, said, "This is my last year at science bowl. It's been a great journey, and I am honored that I got to compete against so many talented teams this year. It has also been great getting to know the smart people on other teams competing here."
In addition to the competition, demonstrations and hands-on activities took place throughout the day. In the afternoon, a separate engineering competition allowed teams that had not advanced to the double-elimination round to test their engineering and design skills. This year's challenge was to construct a transmission tower with the structural integrity to defy the forces of an earthquake.
"Bonneville has sponsored the Science Bowl each year for a quarter century to support these incredible students in their love of math and science," said BPA Chief Operating Officer Claudia Andrews. "As I watched them compete today, I was amazed and inspired by these kids. They are the energy innovators of the future, and we hope today's experience provides another step toward that important goal."
The hundreds of students in the competition, including last weekend's middle school event, come from public and private schools in Washington and Oregon -- from as far north as the Seattle metro area and as far south as Ashland, Ore. Many practice for months, in groups and individually, for the competition, which is as intense as any sporting event, particularly at the high school level.
BPA sponsors the science bowl to showcase students' talents in science, technology, engineering and math, as well as to encourage them to consider careers in these fields. This helps to build the future labor pool of scientists and innovators so critical to the energy industry. The BPA Regional Science Bowl is sponsored by the University of Portland, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories and Vernier Software & Technology.
"We're just doing this for fun, just to have a great time," said Alison Bowden of Beaverton High School. "We've had a lot of really close rounds, and it's really fun to cheer on our teammates. It's a good bonding experience for us."
BPA REGIONAL SCIENCE BOWL ALL STARS
BPA recognized the following students who answered the most questions correctly in the morning rounds:
Ashwin Sah, Jesuit High School Team 1
Daniel Chiu, Catlin Gabel High School Team 1
Ming Liu, Mountain View High School Team 1
Kevin Shen, Sunset High School Team 1
Chandler Watson, Oregon Episcopal High School Team
Anders Olsen, Lincoln High School Team
Matthew Seeley, Lake Oswego High School Team
Akshay Pulavarty, Westview High School Team 1
The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale electricity from 31 federal dams and one nuclear plant to 142 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA delivers power via more than 15,000 circuit miles of lines and 259 substations to 490 transmission customers. In all, BPA markets about a third of the electricity consumed in the Northwest and operates three-quarters of the region's high-voltage transmission grid. BPA also funds one of the largest fish and wildlife programs in the world, and, with its partners, pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain affordable, reliable and carbon-free electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov
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