The United States Department of Energy holds annual high-school-level science competitions all across the United States and her territories. Schools send teams of 4-5 people to compete against other schools in the state or region, and the winning schools are flown up to Washington, D.C. to compete in the national tournament. The question categories include biology, chemistry, physics, math, general science, earth and space, and meteorology.
In Puerto Rico, the team to beat is Notre Dame Catholic School in Caguas, PR. They have a long-established science bowl team which practices from the beginning of the school year up until the event itself. Last year our coach, Mrs. Muñiz, scrounged together a team the week before; we ended up winning second place for the entire island, at one point even winning a round against Notre Dame.
This year, however, we established a team a few months in advance and practiced for the science bowl using my custom-designed buzzer system to acquaint ourselves with the rules and procedures. Our team members are:
Mrs. Ines Muñiz – Coach
Marcos Pertierra – Math, Chemistry
Adrian Santiago – Biology, Chemistry
Alexis Rivero – Earth and Space, General Science, Energy
Patrick Cleary – Physics, General Science, Energy
To their credit, Notre Dame did put up a great fight. They were obviously the most well-prepared teams there and, had we not attended, would be representing Puerto Rico at the nationals. After preparing as much material we could and practicing about a dozen times, we remained undefeated and took home the first-place trophy at the regional science bowl this year. Thanks to the unwavering support of our amazing coach, as well as our great team and their supportive parents, we’re going to Washington!
Like Notre Dame, this year we also sent a team of juniors to compete with hopes that they’d gain valuable experience from participating in the competition. They’re going to be the main team next year, and by that time they’re going to have an entire year of preparation and prior experience under their belts, giving them a huge advantage. Our junior team members are:
Randy Rivero – Earth and Space, General Science, Energy
Michael Moraskie – Biology, General Science
Itamar Aron – Math, Physics, General Science
Eduardo Irizary – Math, Chemistry, General Science, Energy
Congratulations to the junior team for tying for 5th place out of 2. This year they made it clear that they were a force to be reckoned with – watch out next year!
Great job, guys!