Iowa Regional Middle School Science Bowl

February 18, 2023

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Ames Lab MS science bowl

February 18, 2023

Mark your calendars
Be a part of the Ames Laboratory/Iowa State University Middle School Science Bowl! Form a team and show you’ve got what it takes to compete against the best teams in Iowa. This event is an opportunity for students to excel in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math while experiencing a sense of community with other STEM-focused students.  Students compete in a question-and-answer format that tests student's knowledge in a range of science disciplines including Life Science, Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, Energy, Mathematics and General Science. The Iowa Regional Middle School Science Bowl is one of 115 regional competitions held across the nation.

The basics

  • For students in grades 6, 7, and 8
  • One-day academic competition
  • Held on the beautiful Iowa State University campus in Ames, Iowa
  • Lunch provided
  • No registration fee
  • Free Friday night lodging to 10 most distant teams (determined at close of registration)
  • Space is limited, so register early! Schools whose applications are received after the roster is filled will be placed on a waiting list.
  • Winning team advances to the Department of Energy’s National competition April 27 – May 1, 2023.

The academic competition

Each 16-minute match has two 8-minute halves and a two-minute intermission. Questions are read aloud by a moderator. Any player can buzz in to answer a “toss-up” question. Points are awarded for a correct answer, and the team then has an opportunity to answer a bonus question. At the end of the match, the team with the most points wins that match. Both pool-play and double-elimination formats are used. Top teams frequently spend months practicing for the event. Click here for Sample Questions.

Form your team

Teams from throughout the state are encouraged to apply. Teams consist of up to five students--four students and one alternate--and one coach. The coach may be a teacher, administrator, or Talented and Gifted coordinator. Any students in grades 6, 7, or 8 may form a team. Four of the team’s five players compete at any one time. Substitutions may occur during the 2-minute halftime or between matches.

How to enter

Teams from throughout the state are encouraged to apply. Registration opens Monday, October 3, 2022. Proceed to the coaches page to submit an application for a team. Schools whose applications are received after the roster is filled will be placed on a waiting list.

What to study

Science Bowl questions cover a variety of topics: biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, Earth and space sciences and energy. Preparation pays off. Top teams frequently spend months practicing for the event. Click here for Sample Questions.

How to play the game

Each 16-minute match has a two-minute intermission. Questions are read aloud by a moderator. Any player can buzz in to answer a "toss up" question. Points are awarded for a correct answer, and the team can then answer a bonus question. At the end of the match, the team with the most points wins. Ames Lab and ISU scientists and staff serve as judges, moderators, timekeepers and scorekeepers.

The cost

There is no registration fee. All teams will be provided lunch on competition day. Ten distant schools will receive two complimentary hotel rooms Friday night prior to the event. Schools will be notified if selected.

The award

Trophies are awarded to the top three teams, with each player receiving an individual award. The winning team will be invited to represent Iowa at the National Science Bowl on April 27 - May 1, 2023, in Washington, D.C.