The middle school Science Bowl team, Rishabh Chandra, Jonathan Ma and Michael Zhao, all grade 8, and Aneesh Samineni and David Zhu, grade 7, took fifth place at nationals at the end of April.
The team won the regional Science Bowl competition held at NASA AMES research center on March 3, earning an invitation to the national competition in Washington, D.C. – the middle school’s first exposure to the Science Bowl national competition.
Forty-four teams, all regional winners, took part in the finals. The Harker team did an excellent job in the round robin tournament, handsomely beating all six teams in their bracket. This led to double-elimination where Harker defeated two teams in a row, but unfortunately lost their third and fourth matches, including one to Hopkins who has finished in the top three for the last three years and went on to win the national championship title again this year.
The results put Harker fifth in the entire country, and earned the school a tidy $1,000 in award money. B.J. Hathaway, of Harker’s BEST program, chaperoned the trip in place of coach Vandana Kadam, who could not attend the nationals due to a schedule conflict.
“In addition to the academic part of the competition, National Science Bowl requires students to make a car using a lithium ion battery,” said Kadam. “Our team constructed the car based on the specifications before heading to D.C. Harker took fifth here, too, covering 20 meters in 7.05 seconds. Great job, gentlemen – congratulations!”