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MARCH 2021    |   SRNS
                                                                                           MARCH 2021    |   SRNS TODAY   |   9TODAY   |   9

                                                                        Local teams compete in

                                                                        DOE Regional Science Bowl


                                                                        Future scientists, engineers and mathematicians tested
                                                                        their knowledge during the annual Department of Energy
                                                                        Savannah River Regional Science Bowl Competition on
                                                                        Feb. 20. The virtual event attracted 18 teams from
                                                                        around SRS.
                                                                        Lakeside High School, Evans, Georgia, was the winning
                                                                        team and earned the honor to compete in the national
          This year’s CSRA Regional Science and Engineering Fair winner (High School: Best of Show)   competition to be held virtually in May.
          Krish Mathur, Lakeside High School, Evans, Ga.
                                                                        Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics,
        Virtual science fair                                            Hartsville, South Carolina, came in second, while third
                                                                        place was achieved by Nations Ford, Fort Mill, South
        draws students to STEM                                          Carolina.
                                                                        “This was our first year conducting this event virtually,”
        Science-savvy students experienced an additional challenge during this   said Kim Mitchell, Lead, Education Outreach, SRNS.
        year’s CSRA Regional Science and Engineering Fair, competing in a virtual   “Students usually compete head-to-head, but in a virtual
        environment through resources provided by event coordinator SRNS.  setting, teams compete individually, answering questions
                                                                        within a timed interval to achieve the top score for that
        Students throughout the CSRA submitted electronic project materials and   round. Changing everything to adapt to a virtual platform
        participated in virtual interviews in an attempt to impress the judges.
                                                                        was a big challenge, but we were committed to continuing
        The CSRA Regional Science and Engineering Fair is an affiliate of the   our long tradition of offering this academic competition
        Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), a research-  that is like no other.”
        based high school competition managed by the Society for Science. These   Science Bowl questions cover a wide range of disciplines,
        competitions exist in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 75   including biology, chemistry, earth and space science,
        countries and territories.
                                                                        physics, energy and mathematics.
        Students from counties located within the greater Aiken, South Carolina, and   “The competition provides these students an opportunity
        Augusta, Georgia area, competed for this year’s “Best in Show” title and a   to showcase their knowledge. But even more importantly,
        spot at the prestigious ISEF competition.
                                                                        it allows them to continue their learning,” said Crystal
        Projects were judged for scientific reasoning, creative ability, thoroughness,   McDowell, Life Science Educator at Greenbrier High
        technical skill and clarity. Volunteers from SRS, competition co-sponsor   School in Evans, Georgia. “These students research, read
        University of South Carolina Aiken, and the community participated as officials   and discover outside of what they are required to learn.”
        and judges.
                                                                        Science Bowl teams consist of three to five students and
        “The CSRA Regional Science and Engineering Fair gives young people from   an educator who serves as an adviser and coach. This
        the area the opportunity to explore the world of science and technology and   year’s regional contest involved 86 students from 12
        develop their scientific investigation skills by planning and developing their   high schools.
        own ‘hands-on’ science projects,” said Taylor Rice, Science Fair Coordinator   “The adrenaline high the students get from competing
        and SRNS employee. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the challenge typically   can be as good as if they were in a varsity game or
        faced by participating students has increased significantly.”
                                                                        performing in the school musical, but in a STEM context,”
        This year’s winners within the High School “Best of Show” category are:    said Robert Lascola, a Senior Fellow Scientist with the
        •  First Place, Krish Mathur – Lakeside High School, Evans, Georgia  Savannah River National Laboratory. “It’s reinforcing for
                                                                        them to have their preparation rewarded. They also get
        •  Second Place, Grace Neiswender – Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School,   experience thinking quickly while under pressure and
          Augusta, Georgia                                              working in a team environment.”
        •  Third Place, Elizabeth Lee and Swetha Ananth – Davidson Fine Arts Magnet   SRS is one of only three DOE sites to have participated
          School, and                                                   each year at the regional level since the start of the
        •  Honorable Mention, Siya Brown – Davidson Fine Arts Magnet School.  Science Bowl competition.
        “I have participated in the CSRA science fair for a few years now, and I truly   DOE created the National Science Bowl (NSB) in 1991
        believe it has made me a better scientist and a more inquisitive student,” said   to encourage students to excel in mathematics and
        Krish Mathur of Lakeside High School, Evans, Georgia. “I am very glad the   science and pursue careers in those fields. Approximately
        CSRA science fair is continuing to bring this community of young scientists   300,000 students have participated in the NSB
        together virtually in the midst of the isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic.”  throughout its 30-year history.
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