From Liberty Middle School, the science finalists include Captain Heidi Leonard, from left, Prahaas Avula, Harstha Chander, Joel Yang and Eddie Wen. CONTRIBUTED

James Clemens, Liberty reach finals in Science Bowl

MADISON – Two secondary schools in Madison City Schools qualified as finalists in regional Science Bowl competitions.

In the high school division of Science Bowl, James Clemens High School went undefeated in Round Robin and lost in the finals to Alabama School of Fine Arts or ASFA high school students.

In the middle school division of Science Bowl, Liberty Middle School went undefeated in Round Robin and lost in the finals to middle school students in ASFA.

The Office of Science with the U.S. Department of Energy manages the National Science Bowl and sponsors finals competition.

National Science Bowl uses a fast-paced, question-and-answer format to solve technical problems and answer questions on a range of science disciplines, including biology, chemistry, Earth and space sciences, physics and math.

Ashley Horne, science teacher at James Clemens, serves as coach to Science Bowl and Science Olympiad teams. Team members are Captain Erik Wu, who specializes in math; Praneel Avula, focusing on astronomy and physics; Aneesh Maruvada with expertise in astronomy and physics; Neyan Sezhian, specializing in math and chemistry; and Abdullah Shaik with expertise in life science.

James Clemens’ team advanced to finals after a stellar performance in round robin and semifinals in beating strong ASFA teams. Even though they lost in the finals to one of the teams they beat in round robin, Captain Erik Wu is confident of coming back strong next year to make it to the nationals.

Karen Price, who teaches science at Liberty, serves as coach to Science Bowl and Science Olympiad teams. Suresh Avula is parent coach for Science Bowl at Liberty.

Liberty’s team included Captain Heidi Leonard, who specializes in life science and chemistry; Prahaas Avula with expertise in space and physics; Harstha Chander, an expert in life science and math; Joel Yang with focus in earth and space; and Eddie Wen with math expertise.

Liberty’s team practiced Wednesdays at school. Entering the tournament as defending champions, Liberty cruised to the finals comfortably. In the finals, the team lost by a difference of one question.

Price and Avula believe that the effort these students exerted in preparing for Science Bowl will be helpful in other science competitions and also when participating in Science Bowl during high school.

Since the first competition in 1991, approximately 335,000 students have faced off in the National Science Bowl finals. Former competitors have acquired knowledge and, more importantly, collaborative skills and study habits that have led them to success in various fields.

For more information, visit energy.gov/science.

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