Sunday, December 08, 2013
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Dallas High science bowl team members (from left) Jacob Braibish, Scott Schepige, Austin Gish, Michael Osborn and Asheley Crabtree will compete in the Bonneville Power Administration Regional Science Bowl at the University of Portland on Saturday.
January 30, 2013
DALLAS -- During its first appearance at the Bonneville Power Administration Regional Science Bowl a few years ago, Dallas High School's team came within a hair of advancing to the second round and a shot at reaching the national competition.
"We made a couple of mistakes, answering a question before (the judges) recognized us," recalled Travis Godkin, a Dallas High science teacher and current team adviser. "They docked us a couple of points.
"If we hadn't done that ...," he said, trailing off. "You have to (perform) really well."
Godkin said the team hasn't been able to escape that problematic first round in subsequent tournaments. But it will get another shot at the prestigious quiz event Saturday at the University of Portland.
The science bowl entertained middle schools the previous weekend. Saturday will feature 50 high school teams from Oregon and Western Washington. Dallas is one of four groups from the Mid-Willamette Valley. The other Polk County representation is from West Salem High School.
"The science bowl is a wonderful venue for us to encourage and celebrate these young minds, many of whom will be our future innovators in the energy industry," Bill Drummond, BPA deputy administrator, said in a statement.
Teams of students will answer questions covering astronomy, biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, computer science and general science in a round-robin format. A double-elimination final follows. Questions are multiple choice and short answer -- and hard.
"Some of the math and physics questions, I'm not sure I could figure out," Godkin, who teaches biology, said. "You have to know the answers in five seconds."
The Dallas High team has been drilling on sample questions in the weeks leading up to the competition, complete with their own buzzers. Otherwise, you simply need to be a whiz in the sciences to hack it.
"It's good to be a well-rounded team," Godkin said. "But it is a team competition and there will be people who don't know everything, so we have people with specialties."
At stake is $85,000 in scholarships from 18 regional colleges and universities, and a berth to the U.S. Department of Energy's National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C. in April.
"We would love to make it to that second round and further," Godkin said.
Think You're Smart?
The following are sample questions from the BPA Regional Science Bowl's high school competition. Good luck.
Question: Which two of the following five amino acids are classified as "basic" because of the structure of their side chains: arginine; glycine; glutamic acid; phenylalanine; and lysine.
Answer: Arginine and lysine.
Question: Which of the following is NOT used in determining relative geologic time:
A. Principle of superposition.
B. Principle of original horizontality.
C. Principle of cross-cutting.
D. Radioisotope half-lives.
Question: Which of the following is NOT true:
A. Electrons are directly affected by the strong nuclear force.
B. General relativity predicts the existence of black holes.
C. A deuterium atom has two nucleons.
D. Many cosmologists believe that neutrinos make up about as much mass as all the stars in the universe.