The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl® is a nationwide academic competition that tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science and mathematics. Middle and high school student teams from diverse backgrounds are comprised of four students, one alternate, and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach. These teams face-off in a fast-paced question-and-answer format, being tested on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy, and math.
The Department of Energy (DOE) created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields. Approximately 240,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl throughout its 24 year history, and it is one of the nation’s largest science competitions.
NETL has been hosting regional qualifying competitions since that time. In 1991, 18 regional high school tournaments took place; this year, more than 9,500 high school students competed in 70 regional events across the United States as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NETL facilitates three regional Science Bowls: the West Virginia Regional Science Bowl (WVSB) for high school students and the Southwestern Pennsylvanian Regional Science Bowl (SWPA), which hosts a competition for high school students and middle school students.
NETL’s Science Bowls are entirely staffed through volunteer efforts and have grown significantly since they were initiated in the ‘90s. This year, the WVSB hosted 23 high school teams, and SWPA science bowl hosted 57 high school and 34 middle schools in the February competitions.