Ames High wins 2014 Science Bowl

Ames High School defeated Des Moines Central Academy 50-36 in the championship match on Saturday, Jan. 25 to win the 2014 Ames Laboratory/Iowa State University Regional High School Science Bowl. Ames will advance to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl, April 24-27 in Washington D.C.

The win marked the eighth time Ames has won the championship in the 24-year history of the event. Ames last won in 2011. The Ames High School team is comprised of all juniors;  Nina VanDerZanden, Julia Meyer, Parm Banwait (male), Alex Lee (male) andYichen Xu (male). The team is coached by first-year coach Jacob Pleasants who teaches physics at AHS.

(above) Ames High captain Nina VanDerZanden confers with teammate
Yichen Xu on a bonus question during the championship match.



(at right)  

2014 Champions: Front row: (l-r) Julia Meyer, Alex Lee, and Yichen Xu; Back row: (l-r) coach Jacob Pleasants, Nina VanDerZanden, Parm Banwait, and Ames Laboratory Assistant Director for Scientific Planning Cynthia Jenks.


The championship match with Central Academy was a rematch for the two teams in the double-elimination math and science quiz-bowl event. In a quarter-final match, Central Academy was leading as time expired. Ames won the final toss-up question then correctly answered its 10-point bonus question to eke out a 46-44 win.

Central Academy, comprised of Max Pilcher, Granger Carty, Edel Aron, Luis Martinez and Vaibhav Srikaran, topped defending champion Pleasant Valley High School (Bettendorf) 60-54 in the semifinals to earn the rematch with Ames. Dubuque Hempstead finished fourth. To see the complete results of the afternoon finals competition, click here.

Sickness and scheduling conflicts reduced the field for this year’s event to 37 teams; down from 40. Other schools competing besides those listed above were:  Ankeny, Bettendorf, Boone, Boyer Valley (two teams), Cedar Falls, Centennial (Ankeny), Central Clinton (DeWitt), Chariton, Clear Creek Amana, Davenport North, Dubuque Senior, Fort Dodge, Greene County (Jefferson), Grinnell-Newburg, Home Schools of Eastern Iowa, Indianola, Johnston, Cedar Rapids Kennedy, LeMars, Lynnville-Sully, Madrid, Mid Prairie, Monticello, Mt. Pleasant, Ogden, Iowa City Regina, Council Bluffs St. Albert, Urbandale, Valley, Dubuque Wahlert, and Winterset.