science bowl

Dougherty Valley High School’s team won the National Science Bowl in the high school competition.(Twitter/National Science Bowl photo)

A five-student high school team led by three Indian Americans from San Ramon, California-based Dougherty Valley High School won the 2020 U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl.

It’s the first time in the school’s history that a team has won the DoE Science Bowl.

In the middle school competition, students from Preston Middle School in Fort Collins, Colorado, took home first place, a DoE statement said.

“Congratulations to this year’s National Science Bowl winners from Dougherty Valley High School and Preston Middle School,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette.

“Your dedication and commitment to this challenging competition in this unprecedented time speaks volumes to your level of determination and integrity,” Brouillette added. “I have the utmost confidence that all of this year’s NSB participants are up to the great task of ensuring American leadership in science, technology and innovation for generations to come.”

Due to COVID-19, this year’s NSB was held virtually to ensure the health and safety of the participating students.

The top two high school teams emerged victorious from a field of 61 high school regional champions in the first-ever virtual finals competition.

Dougherty Valley High School defeated Mira Loma High School from Sacramento, California, by correctly answering the energy question, “Scientists at Ames Lab are studying twisted bilayer graphene. Identify all of the following three statements that are true of this material: 1) It can act as an insulator; 2) It can act as a superconductor; 3) It demonstrates a Moire pattern”; with the correct answer, “All.”

The members of the winning high school team are Risha Chakraborty, Venkat Ranjan, Anugrah Chemparathy, Kenneth Moon and Daniel Shen. The team is coached by Katherine Huang.

Dougherty Valley High School and Mira Loma High School each won $2,500 for their school’s science department. As the 2020 National Champions, the Dougherty Valley High School team members will be invited to attend the 2021 National Finals as special guests and to be recognized in the 2021 awards ceremony.

In the middle school competition, Preston Middle School defeated Jonas Clarke Middle School from Lexington, Massachusetts.

For each age group, the top four teams will receive $2,000; the top eight teams will receive $1,500; and the top 16 teams will take home $1,000 for their schools’ science departments, the DoE said.

DOE created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields.

Approximately 325,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl since its creation. Teams wishing to compete in next year’s National Science Bowl® competition may sign up in the fall, the news release said.

DOE’s Office of Science manages the National Science Bowl and sponsors the finals competition.

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