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Two sets of rival teams among competitors in middle and high school math and science contest as PPPL hosts New Jersey Regional Science Bowl

PRINCETON, New Jersey (Feb. 19, 2019) - They have drilled and practiced after school and on weekends. They’ve learned the best strategies and they’ve listened to pep talks from their coaches. Now some of the best science and math students in the state  are ready to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) New Jersey Regional Science Bowl at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory Feb. 22 to 23. 

The competition will pit 16 middle school teams on Feb. 22 and 32 high school teams on Feb. 23 against each other in a fierce battle of the minds in which teams of students answer challenging math, science and technology questions in double-elimination rounds.

“Every year it is thrilling to see teams of students competing, not in a sports competition, but in a highly competitive round-robin challenge of one's intellectual capacity,” said Andrew Zwicker, head of Communications and Public Outreach and Science Education, who hosts the event. “These young students have a breadth and depth of knowledge that is remarkable and makes me feel that the next generation of scientists and engineers are brilliant and will soon be inventing the technology to make our lives better, safer, and stronger.” 

The winners from each competition will win an all-expense paid trip to the DOE’s National Science Bowl® in Washington, D.C. from April 25 to 29. The middle school team winner will compete against 49 other regional teams, while the high school champion will compete against 64 other teams. The DOE’s Office of Science manages the National Science Bowl® and sponsors the finals competition. More information is available on the NSB website: http://www.science.energy.gov/wdts/nsb/

This year’s contest will once again pit two sets of local rival winning teams against each other. Last year, the West Windsor-Plainsboro High School North team defeated the reigning champion West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South team in the final minute of the 13th round. The West Windsor-Plainsboro South team had won the competition for three years in a row previous to last year.

The middle school competition also came down to a close contest, this time between two Princeton teams, with the Princeton Charter School team narrowly defeating Princeton’s John Witherspoon Middle School team, which had won the previous year by defeating Princeton Charter. 

This is the 26th year PPPL will host the Science Bowl in which 16 middle school teams and 32 high school teams will participate. They will answer up to 46 challenging questions in Earth and space science, physical science, life science, math and technology per round with up to 11 rounds for the middle schoolers and up to 13 rounds for the high schoolers in a double-elimination format.  They will be among 9,000 high school students and 4,500 middle school students competing in 65 high school and 50 middle school regional Science Bowl tournaments around the country. 

“I like that the kids are so dedicated to learning different topics,” said Deedee Ortiz, the PPPL organizer of the event. “They come here to compete and maybe they learn that thing that will make them stick with science.”

PPPL, on Princeton University's Forrestal Campus in Plainsboro, N.J., is devoted to creating new knowledge about the physics of plasmas — ultra-hot, charged gases — and to developing practical solutions for the creation of fusion energy. The Laboratory is managed by the University for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which is the largest single supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

U.S. Department of Energy
Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory managed by Princeton University.

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