Two Part Competition Included Academic Quiz, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car Race
On Friday, March 13, 2009, seven students from Washington Middle School traveled to Mitchellville, Maryland, to participate in the Maryland Regional Competition of the National Science Bowl. Washington’s students competed against fifteen other middle school teams from Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania, and finished third in both portions of the two-part competition. Eighth grade Science Bowl team members included Brittney Lamb, captain; Shane Bailey, Heather Frank, Rachel Wojnar, and Brittney Schultz. Seventh grade team members were Rebekah Brown and Chris Hess. Teacher advisers were Matt Kline, Tracy O’Brien, and Scott VanVlack.
The first part of the competition was an academic quiz bowl in which students were asked to answer science and math questions that increased in difficulty. The second part of the competition was a hydrogen fuel cell car race in which students ran their fuel cell cars, built with the assistance of their coaches, on a straight, 10-meter long track. The fastest three times in the fuel cell car race won trophies, and Washington’s team was less than a half a second from winning the gold. Click here to view a clip of the race.
Team member, Heather Frank, said “Participating in the Science Bowl was a neat experience. It helped me learn more about hydrogen that could eventually be powering our cars.” Frank’s teammate, Brittany Lamb, agreed. “I think our team did extremely well, especially since it was our first time. It was a great learning experience and it was really fun.”
The Washington Middle School team prepared for the Science Bowl competition by meeting after school twice a week for nearly three months. Coach Matt Kline states “I am very proud of these students. They performed very well against teams from bigger schools and against teams from private schools that focus on science and math. They worked hard and they should be proud of themselves.” Teacher adviser, Tracy O’Brien, echoed his sentiments. “This was the first time WMS students participated in the Science Bowl and I am incredibly proud of how well they performed and how dedicated they were throughout the whole process. I am truly honored to have been able to help these students prepare for this competition.”
Pictured above: (front) Chris Hess, Rachel Wojnar; (middle) Matt Kline, Shane Bailey, Rebekah Brown, Brittany Lamb, Brittney Schultz, Tracy O'Brien; (back) Heather Frank