By CHRISTOPHER KING
Moapa Valley Progress
Students in the fifth grade at Grant Bowler Elementary School got together in teams of three to compete in a battle of scientific knowledge on Friday, May 11 in the school’s cafeteria room.
Each team had been given a list of the science questions in advance that could be asked during the competition. The students studied their lists carefully and prepared for the competition. Questions included faces from biology, geography, geology and astronomy.
There were a total of twenty-one teams competing in the single elimination tournament.Each team had come up with its own names with clever titles such as “The Science Kids”, “Sizzling Bacon” and “Cat-Tastropes”. The students were all well prepared and anxiously awaiting their turn to participate in the contest.
The competition was judged by fifth grade teachers Carolyn DeLaFrance and Michael Demers. The questions were asked by Master of Ceremonies Greg Winzenreid. The students and judges were all ready and the Science Bowl began!
The event moved at a face pace. Oftentimes the teams didn’t even give Winzenreid a chance to complete the question before contestants were buzzing in with the correct answer.
For example, in the first round, Winzenreid began “Sand dunes are caused…,” and a member from team Whatchamacallits buzzed in with the correct answer “caused by erosion from wind.” The facts that these children had learned, and the speed with which they recalled them, was truly impressive.
Most of the team match-ups were close. Many of the teams won by margins of a single point. Throughout the preliminary rounds, the best of five answers would win the match. From the quarterfinals on, it became the first to gain five points won the match.
Competition was fierce, with little room for mistakes. In round three, the matchup between the Whatchamacallits and the Marshmellows to make it to the quarterfinals was really close. The Whatchamacallits had a 2-1 lead, and the Marshmellows stormed back to answer the next two questions correctly for the win!
All the teams gave it their best shot. One team was accidentally overlooked and, after apologizing, DeLaFrance gave that team a chance to play a round. Mistakes happen, and unfortunately for team ABCs, they only got the opportunity to play one round, which they won in dramatic fashion coming back from a 4-1 deficit to win their round.
In the end, the Marshmellow team took first place, edging out the Three Musketeers who came in second. The Bullets were able to get past the Cat-Tastrophes to take third place.
It was very entertaining for the audience. Greg Winzenreid said “Carolyn DeLaFrance did a great job putting this event together.” Judging by the reactions of the audience, he was not the only person that thought so.