'Wicked smart'

BC team travels to D.C. to compete in national Science Bowl

For a lot of high school students, sitting down with a math or biology book is called studying. But for a small group of Bethlehem Central whizzes, it's preparation for an event that is every bit as competitive and fast-paced as any other sport.

Five members of the BC Science Bowl team recently traveled to Washington, D.C. to compete against other schools across the country in the annual national Science Bowl. While the team did well in their round robin bracket, coming in third out of eight other teams, it wasn't quite enough to move on to the sweet 16.

Still, the experience wasn't all about winning a trophy, said team member Ray Futia, a junior.

It was nice to see everyone together who share a common interest, he said. "It's almost like a summer camp like feeling, except everyone is wicked smart."

The Science Bowl quizzes participants on math, biology, physics, astronomy, earth science and chemistry knowledge. Teams face off with the goal of being first to buzz in with a correct answer.

The team also enjoyed a six-day stay in the nation's capital, with the opportunity to tour D.C.'s many museums and monuments. The trip was paid for by the Department of Energy.

Getting to nationals wasn't an easy road, though. The Science Bowl team generally meets once a week after school on Mondays. While there are more participants than the four-man competition team, as Science Bowl dates approach the strongest players are chosen to make up the final panel.

The best performers take a lot of time outside of practice honing their knowledge, often in one specific area, said junior Austin Mayron.

"Its like learning science for the sake of science. It's really energizing," he said.

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