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James Clemens vying for honors in National Science Bowl

(CONTRIBUTED)
(CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – “What is the most common term in physics for the product of mass times velocity?” This question is a sample that a team from James Clemens High School faced in National Science Bowl competition.

The James Clemens students are vying for rights to represent Alabama in the finals.

The Office of Science with the U.S. Department of Energy sponsors the intellectual contest (science.energy.gov/wdts/nsb). The competition’s goal is to interest teenagers in pursuing careers in science and math, department spokesman Dirk Fillpot said.

Along with James Clemens, other local schools entering the regional competition are Grissom High School and Randolph School, which met at Alabama School of Math & Science in Mobile on Feb. 1.

More than 225,000 students have participated in the annual bowl since its launch in 1991.

Through March, about 9,000 high school students on approximately 1,850 teams will compete in 69 regional competitions. Another 5,000 middle school students also will enter the bowl.

During the competitions, teams of four students face off against one another in a fast-paced, question-and-answer format. “They’ll be challenged to solve mathematical problems and tested on astronomy, biology, earth science and physics,” Fillpot said.

Questions in the National Science Bowl are not easy:

* As a percentage by volume in earth’s atmosphere, what are the two most abundant gases?

* What is the most common term in physics for the product of mass times velocity?

* What planet has the greatest variation in temperature over one of its planetary days?

The answers to these questions are (1) nitrogen and oxygen, (2) momentum and (3) Mercury.

“The larger goal of the National Science Bowl is to inspire the nation’s future leaders in science and technology … to see them rewarded and to start them on the way to building a better and brighter future,” Fillpot said.

Regional winners will advance to the finals of the National Science Bowl in Washington D.C. on April 24-28.

For more information, visit science.energy.gov/about.

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