Vail Christian team to compete in Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl |

Vail Christian team to compete in Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl

Science Bowl is rapid-fire question-and-answer competition

Sam Tellor, Madison, Ritsch and Jonathan Daly do a little studying in preparation for the National Science Bowl. Vail Christian's team, which also includes Megan Collom and Izzy Richie, will compete in the regional round. If they do well enough they'll advance to next month's nationals in Washington, D.C.
Randy Wyrick

EDWARDS — The National Science Bowl is sort of a game show for science types, except that the questions are hard and if you can answer them you’ll likely land in a career that matters … so it’s not like a game show at all.

Except that it sort of is. Vail Christian High School is sending a team — Sam Tellor, Madison Ritch, Jonathan Daly, Megan Collom and Izzy Richie — to the regional round where students will be peppered with questions about math, physics, energy, biology, chemistry and Earth and space science.

How it works

Teams have 15 seconds to answer a toss-up question. Faster is better because the opposition has those same 15 seconds, Ritsch said.

If a team answers those toss-up questions correctly, it gets four points. Then the team gets a shot at a 10-point question, Tellor said.

“The more broad your knowledge is, the better you’ll be,” Ritsch said.

Vail Christian selected its teams based on who’s doing well in what classes. They’re good at all of this stuff — 80 percent of the team has taken Calculus 2, and earned really good grades, team captain Tellor said.

As captain, Tellor answers for the group, whether or not the entire team agrees with him.

It’s a round-robin tournament. If the team does well enough in the regionals, it advances to next month’s nationals in Washington, D.C.

Teams are composed of five students and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach. Chemistry teacher Sarah Hochtl is Vail Christian’s faculty sponsor.

The Department of Energy sponsors the whole thing. Its Office of Science is America’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences.

“I am proud to oversee a department that provides such a unique and empowering opportunity for our nation’s students,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry said in a statement announcing this year’s competition.

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