A team from The Gatton Academy has returned home following a five-day competition at the 2015 National Science Bowl®.
The National Science Bowl®, which is sponsored by the Department of Energy, was held outside of Washington, D.C., in Chevy Chase, Maryland, from April 30 to May 4. The National Science Bowl® challenged students’ knowledge in all areas of science, including biology, chemistry, Earth sciences, physics, energy and math.
Seniors Brian Carlson, Ben Guthrie, Paul Hudson, Ben Riley and junior Rohan Deshpande were members of the team who traveled to Washington, D.C., on the all-expenses paid trip.
“The National Science Bowl was a fantastic event,” said Guthrie, team captain. “Our team performed quite well for being self-coached, ending with a 5-2 record and ending Dulles High School’s undefeated streak in an upset match.”
The high school competition was made up of 68 teams. Each team randomly drew to see in which round robin bracket that they would be placed. The bracket drawn for The Gatton Academy was the Einstein Division and featured schools like Dulles High School (Texas), Pullman High School (Washington), and Lincoln East High School (Nebraska). The Gatton Academy team finished third in the division, just one win away from advancing to the double-elimination tournament.
“I was extremely proud of our team for how they competed,” said Assistant Director of Admissions and Public Relations Zack Ryle, who served as their coach for the national tournament. “Let me emphasize that I was merely a chaperone for this trip. The team taught itself all of the material from day one. The questions asked of these students were far ranging and very difficult, but our guys really did shine.”
While the competition was the focus of the trip, there was plenty more for the team to do. Some of the highlights included a day on the National Mall, visiting with Congressman Brett Guthrie, playing ultimate Frisbee, watching The Avengers: Age of Ultron and interacting with the other teams.
“Outside of the competition, touring the Capitol brought surreal moments like passing John McCain in a hallway and recognizing classic paintings from our history textbooks,” Ben Guthrie said. “The visiting scientists also gave us a fascinating look at the principles of operating a supercomputer with a live model during the trip as well.”
“This competition provides students the opportunity to rally around topics they love with similar students from across the nation,” said Director of The Gatton Academy Dr. Lynette Breedlove. “We are proud of our students’ hard work and motivation in preparing for this competition.”
A tradition may soon be started with this team competing at the national level. “With this experience, I believe that we can effectively coach our juniors for next year and start a program at Gatton that consistently sends teams to compete at the National Science Bowl,” Guthrie said.
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.