Valley wins Ames Laboratory/ISU Science Bowl

Contacts:                                                                        For Release: Jan. 30, 2012
Steve Karsjen
, Public Affairs, 515-294-5643


Teams from Des Moines and Dubuque dominated the competition at Saturday’s Ames Laboratory/Iowa State University Regional High School Science bowl. But West Des Moines Valley outlasted Central Academy in one of the closest matches in recent history to win the championship and the right to represent the regional at the National Science Bowl, April 26-30 in Washington D.C.

The Valley team of Philip Dobrinov, William Crichton, Elaine Mou, Scott Johnson and Sarah Liu edged Central Academy 50-48, scoring on a final bonus question in the closing minute to win the match. Central Academy reached the championship match in the double elimination tournament  after dropping an early match to Dubuque Senior High, 92-64. The team of Luchang Wang, Jack Bequeaith, Luke Sheeley, Mark Gee and Max Pilcher then won its next five matches in a row to reach the finals and then beat Valley 68-40 to send the championship to a second and deciding match.

Dubuque Hempstead finished third and Dubuque Senior was fourth. The Hempstead team of Calvin Daack, Alex Baranski, Rebecca Weires, Tyler Donoho, and Ian Calaway lost to Valley 62-36 in the semifinal match, after edging their crosstown rivals 36-34 in the previous match. Both Dubuque teams were then eliminated by Central Academy.

The win by Valley was the school’s first championship since 1998. That year, Valley went on to win the National Science Bowl, the only time in the event’s 22-year history that a team from the Ames Laboratory Regional has won the overall title. Valley finished third in 2008.

A total of 40 teams competed in the daylong quiz-bowl event which challenges students with a variety of science and math questions. Besides those listed above, the top 16 finalists included Cedar Rapids Xavier, Jefferson Scranton, Des Moines Dowling, Iowa City Regina, Chariton, Ames, Davenport North, Pella, West Dubuque, Monticello, Dubuque Wahlert, and Council Bluffs St. Albert.

“Once again, the state of Iowa was well represented by students from across the state,” said Steve Karsjen Ames Laboratory Public Affairs manager and Science Bowl Coordinator. “We congratulate all of them for a job well done and we look forward to hosting students from many of these same schools at our Middle School Science Bowl Feb. 24-25.”

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science research facility operated by Iowa State University. Ames Laboratory creates innovative materials, technologies and energy solutions. We use our expertise, unique capabilities and interdisciplinary collaborations to solve global challenges.

West Des Moines Valley
(l-r, row one) Sarah Liu, William Crichton, Elaine Mou; (l-r, row two) coach
Nate Speichinger, Philip Dobrinov, Scott Johnson, Ames Lab Director Alex King