By Annie Mitchell,
A team of five Davis High boys won $500 for the science department on Feb. 23 when they finished in third place out of 26 teams at the Science Bowl regional competition in Sacramento.
“That was an upset,” said senior Aakash Mishra, one of the boys. Near the end of the competition, Davis was in seventh place, but they quickly moved up in the rankings.
Science Bowl asks teams questions in different subject areas in science: physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, and astrology, for instance. The questions get harder as the competition progresses.
Contestants needed to know about forces, chemical processes and even asteroids. According to senior Aakash Mishra, whose specialty for Science Bowl is physics, the team of Devils correctly answered “Haumea” to “Name the largest asteroid in the asteroid belt.”
“Some of the stuff they know is crazy,” chemistry teacher David Van Muyden said.
Students sit at a table with their team, and if they know the answer to the questions they can buzz in to get points.
“You have to coordinate buzzing in because if somebody buzzes in and gets it wrong, no one else can buzz in,” Mishra said.
Mishra, along with senior Jerry Guo, senior Kia Afzali, junior Collin Fitzpatrick and junior Ben Skinner, practiced for the competition a few times at lunch in Van Muyden’s room.
Van Muyden says the prize money will contribute toward next year’s Science Bowl, perhaps to buy the competition questions and buzzers to practice.
“We’re gonna try to keep the team going and build the team next year,” Van Muyden said. “Certainly some of the money will be towards whatever we need for that.”
Mira Loma High won the competition and will move on to the National Science Bowl National Finals in Washington D.C. in April.