You are here

High School Science Bowl

January 23, 2016

A Competition Like No Other
The Iowa Regional High School Science Bowl is an opportunity for top science and math students to strut their stuff! Iowa's Regional competition is hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University.

Science Bowl is a rapid-fire, daylong competition in which high school students answer questions from a wide range of science and math disciplines. The winning team receives an all-expenses-paid trip to the DOE’s National Science Bowl in Washington D.C.


Form your team
Teams are comprised of up to five students (four members and an alternate) and a teacher or TAG coordinator or parent volunteer who serves as coach. Students must be enrolled for the current school year in grades 9, 10, 11 or 12 at the team's school and must be less than 20 years of age.

Four of the team's five players compete at any one time--regardless of which player has been designated as the alternate. During the intermission or between matches, the coach can substitute a player.

How to enter
Registration opens October 1. Teams from throughout the state are encouraged to apply. Proceed to the coaches page for registration information. 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, earch 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
The Iowa Regional Sciene Bowl is one of 120 regional competitions held throughout the nation. The format is similar to the National Science Bowl. The morning session is a round-robin tournament, with the top 16 teams advancing to the double-elimination competition in the afternoon session.

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 awards

Trophies are awarded to the top three teams, with each player receiving an individual award.

The winning team advances to the National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C.