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James Clemens heads to Mobile for science bowl regionals

The Science Bowl Team at James Clemens will vie for rights to compete at the National Science Bowl in Washington D.C. this spring. (CONTRIBUTED)
The Science Bowl Team at James Clemens will vie for rights to compete at the National Science Bowl in Washington D.C. this spring. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – James Clemens High School students will vie for rights to represent Alabama in the finals of the 25th annual National Science Bowl.

James Clemens students will convene for competition at the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science in Mobile on Feb. 7.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science sponsors the contest to interest today’s youth in pursuing technical careers.

The competition’s winner will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington D.C. for the national bowl on April 30 through May 4. Other local teams competing in Mobile are Randolph School and Grissom High School.

The James Clemens team for 2014 and 2015 includes seniors Sunny Chennupati, Jacob Laney and Allen King and junior Pratheek Bobba, sponsor Shaun Bardell said. Bardell teaches all levels of calculus at James Clemens.

These students “are four highly intelligent young men who formed this team one year prior. They study/practice independently to prepare for competition.” Last year, the team finished third in the state at the Science Bowl.

Four students on each team will face off in a fast-paced, question-and-answer format about science disciplines, including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy and math.

A sample question for high school teams follows: “What is the most common term used in genetics to describe the observable physical characteristics of an organism caused by the expression of a gene or set of genes?”

Another sample question is “What property of a sound wave is most commonly associated with loudness?”

President Barack Obama has endorsed the National Science Bowl, saying, “We need to teach our kids that it’s not just the winner of the Super Bowl who deserves to be celebrated but the winner of the Science Fair.”

In 1991, approximately 500 high school students vied in the first bowl. Today, the National Science Bowl attracts more than 14,000 middle- and high-school competitors.

Answers to those sample questions are “phenotype” and “amplitude.”

The Office of Science is a major supporter of basic research in the physical sciences. For more information, visit science.energy.gov/wdts/nsb.

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