Solar cars and science featured at Middle School Science Bowl

Contacts: 
Steve Karsjen, Public Affairs, (515) 294-5643

AMES, Iowa –Teams of middle school students from across the state of Iowa will turn light into power this Friday; power they’ll use to propel model solar cars. Solar car racing is the first half of the two-day, seventh annual Middle School Science Bowl, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory and Iowa State University.

On Friday, Feb. 26, students will race their model solar cars at the 3M recreation center off Dayton Road in Ames. On Saturday, Feb. 27, the same 16 teams will participate in an academic competition in Ames Laboratory buildings on campus. During the academic competition, teams consisting of four students plus one alternate will square off in a quiz-bowl competition in which they will answer questions about the physical sciences.

The winner of the Ames Lab/ISU Regional Middle School Science Bowl receives an all-expense-paid trip to compete in the DOE’s National Science Bowl®, April 29 - May 4, 2010 in Washington, D.C.

During the two-day competition, the middle school students will have an opportunity to interact with ISU students, faculty and Ames Lab staff. Members of ISU’s Solar Car Project, Team PrISUm will work with the middle school students during the solar car challenge.  On Saturday morning, students, staff and faculty will serve as moderators, judges, scorekeepers and timekeepers for the question-and-answer academic competition.

Middle schools competing in the 2010 Ames Laboratory/ISU Regional Science Bowl are:

Anthon-Oto-Maple Valley, Adel-Desoto-Minburn, Boone, Central Academy,  Eleanor Roosevelt  (Dubuque),  Evans (Ottumwa), Homeschools of Eastern Iowa,  Johnston, Lynnville-Sully,  McKinley (Cedar Rapids),  Mediapolis,  Mount Vernon, Nodaway Valley, Notre Dame (Burlington),  South Hamilton, Walnut.

Ames Laboratory is a U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science laboratory operated for the DOE 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.

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Note to editors: A press release with the results of the competition will be issued Monday, March 1. Photos of the winning team from the solar car challenge and the top three finishers in the academic quiz bowl will be available also. If you are interested in receiving images, please contact Kerry Gibson, (515) 294-1405 or kgibson@ameslab.gov.