Club Spotlight: Science Bowl


Science Bowl Team Positron stand with coaches

Sahil Deshmukh, Editor

Excitement. Emotion. Energy. Adrenaline. 

These are all things we associate with sports. But what if, say, instead, all of these things could be found in a classroom? What if, say, it wasn’t limited to physical activities? What if, say, you could achieve the same thing through…



Yes, that’s right: I’m talking about Science Bowl, the nationwide middle and high school competition that tests student knowledge in the fields of science, from biology and chemistry to physics and astronomy. It’s a fast-paced competition all about testing the new generation’s knowledge all about what makes the world spin.

Rounds are conducted in an extremely adrenaline-inducing atmosphere of five second toss-up questions. Toss-ups require you to keep your finger on the buzzer, waiting to interrupt the moment you can guess the answer. Historical games allow competitors to accurately predict the question before it’s over and interrupt it for all the glory. However, toss-ups aren’t the entire game: they’re only the gate to the true holy grail of points: bonus questions.

While toss-up questions are worth only four points, bonus questions are worth ten. These questions are only for the team that gets the toss-up, and are generally much more difficult, requiring teamwork and deeper knowledge of the subject. Bonuses are the real challenge and arguably the most important part of Science Bowl, requiring the most skill and expertise.

However, it’s not an easy task. Competitors spend months preparing by studying lectures from all fields of science, about concepts generally only ever introduced in high school. Lectures cover the basics of subjects and keywords that competitors can use effectively in actual competitions. These lectures generally range anywhere from thirty minutes to over an hour. Competitors hammer concepts into their head, preparing to unleash their knowledge in rapid-fire bursts at the final showdown.

Coaching is another huge part of Science Bowl. Our very own Science Bowl teams are coached by Mr. Su and by former competitors from our school (many of whom continue to do Science Bowl). Coaching is a super crucial piece of Science Bowl: it helps the team work and improves team synergy. 

Though Science Bowl is a ton of fun, the real goal is so much more. Science Bowl was created by the Department of Energy to promote the learning of science and mathematics and inspire students across the nation to pursue careers in science. It’s had over a quarter million students participate throughout its thirty-year long legacy.

This year, our Science Bowl teams went to compete in the Sandia National Laboratories Regional at Los Positas College, and won third place! Go Panthers!