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Gatton Academy team advances to 2016 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® (NSB) challenges students’ knowledge in all areas of science, including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy and math.

With the win, the team will travel to the DOE’s National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C., from April 30 to May 2. The DOE provides the all-expense paid trip for the winning team to represent west Kentucky in the high school competition.

A Gatton Academy team advanced to the National Science Bowl competition. From left: Coach Derick B. Strode, Will Hornsby, Rohan Deshpande, Seth Marksberry, Taylor Young; not pictured Karthik Boyareddygari.

A Gatton Academy team advanced to the National Science Bowl competition. From left: Coach Derick B. Strode, Will Hornsby, Rohan Deshpande, Seth Marksberry and Taylor Young; not pictured, Karthik Boyareddygari.

The Gatton Academy’s winning team consists of seniors Rohan Deshpande of LaGrange, Will Hornsby of Bowling Green, Seth Marksberry of Owensboro, and juniors Karthik Boyareddygari of Bowling Green and Taylor Young of Benton.  The Gatton Academy had a second team in the competition, which finished the tournament as runner-up.  This team consists of senior Niven Achenjang of Barbourville and juniors Sherafghan Khan of Hopkinsville, Ayush Prasad of Flatwoods, John “Caleb” Stickney of Irvine and Tricia Thompson of Owensboro.

“I am very proud of the achievements of both teams The Gatton Academy fielded in the Regional Science Bowl,” Marksberry said.  “All players have come a long way since the beginning of the year, earning their victories through dedication to personal and team-wide improvement since the beginning. We look forward to competing at the national competition in Washington, D.C., this April.”

A Gatton Academy team was runner-up in the regional Science Bowl competition. From left: Coach Derick B. Strode, Ayush Prasad, Tricia Thompson, Sherafghan Khan, Caleb Stickney; not pictured: Niven Achenjang.

A Gatton Academy team was runner-up in the regional Science Bowl competition. From left: Coach Derick B. Strode, Ayush Prasad, Tricia Thompson, Sherafghan Khan and Caleb Stickney; not pictured, Niven Achenjang.

Eighteen high school teams competed in the all-day tournament. Other high schools competing were McCracken County High School (which earned third place), Ballard Memorial, Calloway County, Carlisle County, Crittenden County, Marshall County, Massac County (Illinois), Mayfield, Paducah Tilghman, Union County and West KY Home Schools United.  Some schools had more than one team competing.

“Our team was successful at the Regional Tournament because of their fascination with this competition,” said Assistant Director of Academic Services Derick Strode. “They started practices even before the school year began to prepare. This has been a student-led initiative the whole year.”

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 Director of The Gatton Academy Dr. Lynette Breedlove. “They have been curating science information for years and Science Bowl gives them the opportunity to use that knowledge.”

Over 9,000 high school students nationwide compete at the regional level nationwide. Only 70 teams, or about 350 high school students in total, will proceed to Washington for the NSB.

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 to the Washington Post’s list of top-performing schools with elite students for seven consecutive years and was 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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