Los Alamos Middle School Team Wins Regional Science Bowl

Los Alamos Middle School Team Wins Regional Science Bowl

A team of five students from Los Alamos Middle School (LAMS) has won the regional competition for the 2024 National Science Bowl® (NSB) and will advance to the national finals in Washington, D.C. This is the fifth consecutive year that LAMS has won the regional title.

The LAMS team, composed of Amelia Dolejsi, Aven Heavner, Rafa Rocha, Julia Zou, and Kevin Zou, competed against 15 other middle school teams from New Mexico in the regional competition held at Albuquerque Academy on February 22, 2024. The competition consisted of a round-robin tournament in the morning and a double-elimination tournament in the afternoon. The LAMS team remained undefeated throughout the day and beat La Cueva team 1 in the final match.

The LAMS team was coached by Amy Bartlett-Gaunt, a science teacher at the school. She said she was proud of the team’s accomplishments and their enthusiasm for science.

“They love it. They’re excited to come to school. They’re excited to learn,” Bartlett-Gaunt said. “They’re proud of themselves. They’re confident. They’re not afraid to try new things.”

The Team Will Compete in the National Finals in April

The LAMS team will represent New Mexico in the national finals of the NSB, which will be held in Washington, D.C., from April 25 to 29, 2024. The team will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the event, where they will compete against 49 other regional winners from across the country. The team will also participate in various science activities and sightseeing during their stay.

The NSB is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and aims to promote science literacy and awareness among middle and high school students. The competition tests the students’ knowledge and skills in various science disciplines, such as biology, chemistry, physics, math, and earth and space sciences. The competition format is a fast-paced question-and-answer session, where the students have to buzz in and answer correctly before their opponents.

The top two middle and high school teams in the national finals will win $5,000 for their schools’ math and science departments. Other schools that place in the top 16 will win $1,000 for their schools’ science departments.

The Team Follows a Tradition of Excellence

The LAMS team is continuing a tradition of excellence in the NSB, as the school has won the regional competition for five years in a row. The school has also produced several national finalists and champions in the past. In 2020, the LAMS team placed fourth in the national finals. In 2019, the LAMS team won the national championship, becoming the first team from New Mexico to do so.

The LAMS team members said they were inspired by the previous teams and hoped to do well in the national finals. They said they enjoyed learning new things and challenging themselves in the competition.

“We like science because it’s fun and interesting. We learn something new every day,” Julia Zou said. “We also like the competition because it’s exciting and rewarding. We get to meet new people and make new friends.”