Let’s take a cell-fie

Winning team to compete in National Science Bowl in Washington D.C.

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Amanda Krehbiel, Assistant Website Editor

To whom do we attribute e=mc2?

No, it’s not a joke—it’s a science question.

The answer is Albert Einstein, who would have been pleased with the Science Bowl that took place at Wayne State College on Saturday.

This was the fifth year WSC has hosted the Science Bowl, where teams of middle schoolers from all across Nebraska come to compete in a quiz bowl-like setting, answering questions about science and math.

Dr. Todd Young, professor of astronomy and physics at WSC, oversaw the bowl, welcoming the schools in Frey and sending them off to where they needed to go to compete. The competitions took place in Carhart and Connell.

About 25 years ago, the idea of a science bowl lent itself to the U.S. Department of Energy as “some way to inspire kids to be interested in math and science,” in Young’s words. When the University of Nebraska-Lincoln decided it would stop hosting the bowl, Young snatched it up. The bowl has been at WSC since 2010.

“I love science. I’m a trivia nerd. How could I say no?” Young said. “We plan to keep it here.”

But he can’t do it alone.

“It’s purely volunteer,” he said. “Every aspect of it is volunteer.”

This is why science majors like freshman Ali Wilson decided to help out.

“I was a rules judge, so I had to watch and make sure kids and audience members were all following the rules,” Wilson said.

She also mentioned that as a biology major, it was good to see kids excited about science.

“It was a lot of fun seeing some of the teams really get into it,” she said. “Some of them know way more about science than I do,” she said, laughing.

The morning started out with a welcome from Young and WSC President Curt Frye. Then a round-robin tournament ensued, followed by lunch. Afterwards, teams were seeded, and the winner was announced at about 5 p.m.

That winning team, from Lux Middle School in Lincoln, received an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the National Science Bowl (NSB). The NSB will be held April 30 through May 4, where the top eight teams will win $1,000 each toward their school science departments.

Young recalled competing in quiz bowls throughout high school. He is glad to be a part of helping kids get excited about science, too.

The bowl was made possible by Young, Dr. David Peitz, Dr. Adam Davis, Dr. Mary Ettel, Dr. Sally Harms, Dr. Paul Karr, Kelly Kenny and over 90 volunteers.

Of the volunteers, Young said: “That’s the only way we can pull this off.”

The high school Science Bowl will be held this weekend.