Nearly 100 high school students from all over Maine gathered on USM's Gorham Campus on Saturday, March 4th for the Maine Regional Science Bowl. The winning team, from Cape Elizabeth, will travel to Washington D.C. this spring for the national championship.
"It's important to promote science in high schools," USM Environmental Science Major Analies Dyjak said. "This gives students a chance to show off what they know." The Environmental Science Department had a number of volunteer students to timekeep, take photos, and keep score.
USM's own Robert Sanford and Bob Kuech have been coordinating Maine's Science Bowl for 17 years. Sanford compared the competition to athletics with its use of a buzzer and timed nature. "The Science Bowl is a good connection with the community," Sanford said.
Question topics included biology, chemistry, energy, math, physics, and earth and space. The rounds were structured in two 8-minute halves. When a team scored a correct answer, they were asked a bonus question to earn more points.
"It's a chance for us to be nerdy" remarked one student from Cape Elizabeth.
The competition, sponsored by IDEXX, was intense. The final two teams, Cape Elizabeth and Maine School of Science and Mathematics, were undefeated before the final round. In the end, Cape Elizabeth wound up on top with a score of 52-24, with Greely High School coming in third place.