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Gatton Academy team advances to 2015 National Science Bowl

A team from The Gatton Academy won the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) West Kentucky Regional Science Bowl on Feb. 27. The DOE National Science Bowl® challenges students’ knowledge in all areas of science, including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy and math.

A team from The Gatton Academy won the Department of Energy's West Kentucky Regional Science Bowl. From left: Brian Carlson, Paul Hudson, Ben Riley, Ben Guthrie, Rohan Deshpande and coach Derick Strode.

A team from The Gatton Academy won the Department of Energy’s West Kentucky Regional Science Bowl. From left: Brian Carlson, Paul Hudson, Ben Riley, Ben Guthrie, Rohan Deshpande and coach Derick Strode.

Seniors Brian Carlson, Ben Guthrie, Paul Hudson, Ben Riley and junior Rohan Deshpande were members of the winning team. “We began practicing in the evenings last October in preparation for today’s competition,” said Guthrie, team captain. Eighteen other high school teams, including a second Gatton Academy team, competed in this year’s event in Paducah.

“It was a complete effort by the students,” said Assistant Director of Academic Services Derick Strode, who served as coach for the Science Bowl Team.

“The students approached me in the fall to get their team started. They led their own practices, huddled to talk strategy between matches, and made their own decisions on who to sub-in and sub-out during play,” Strode said. “I was inspired by this group. The questions were really difficult and our students knew a lot of the answers!”

With the win, the team will travel to the DOE’s National Science Bowl (NSB), which is held in Washington, D.C., from April 30 to May 4. The DOE provides the all-expense paid trip for the winning team to represent west Kentucky in the high school competition.

“The National Science Bowl® has grown into one of the most prestigious science academic competitions in the country and challenges students to excel in fields vital to America’s future,” U.S. Energy Secretary Moniz said. “I congratulate these students for advancing to the National Finals, where they will be among some of the brightest science and math students from across the country.”

During the national competition, The Gatton Academy will compete in the same fast-paced, question-and-answer format that was used in the regional competition. The students will not be answering questions during the entire trip, as they will also have the opportunity to visit national monuments and museums.

“Many of our students developed a love for and fascination with science at a very young age,” said Dr. Lynette Breedlove, Director of The Gatton Academy. “They have been curating science information for years and the Science Bowl gives them the opportunity to use all that knowledge.”

More than 9,500 high school students nationwide have competed at the regional level nationwide. Only 70 teams, or about 350 high school students in total, will proceed to the National Science Bowl.

About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential high school for gifted and talented junior and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named the number one public high school in the United States by The Daily Beast for three consecutive years – 2012, 2013 and 2014.

Contact: Zack Ryle, (270) 745-2971

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