Concordia Hosts 2024 Nebraska Science Bowl

Published by Hope Nelson 1 month ago on Mon, Feb 26, 2024 1:38 PM

Concordia recently hosted the Nebraska Science Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 3 for middle school students and Saturday, Feb. 17 for high school students. The U.S. Department of Energy sponsors the competition, which is a qualifying event for the National Science Bowl. The national competition will take place in Washington, D.C., on April 25-29. This is the third year that Concordia has hosted the state event.  

The middle school competition included 33 teams from 19 schools, and the high school competition included 19 teams from 11 schools. Students came to Seward from towns like Lincoln, Holdredge, Alliance, Wayne, and more. The winner of each competition received an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete at the national level against students from across the United States.  

“The Science Bowl is a great opportunity for very high achieving middle and high school students to learn science while also having the fun of competing. For Concordia, it is a wonderful service opportunity for us to serve students from around the state,” said Dr. Robert Hermann, professor of physics.  

Hermann emphasized the importance to Concordia of giving glory to God while doing science.  

“Scientists have been blessed by God with the ability to do science, and they’ve been given the opportunity by their community to do science, and so we want to teach our students that the proper response to these gifts and opportunities is one of thankfulness and service. So this event gives our students a chance to see that a life of science is also one of thankfulness to God and service to His people,” he said.  

This year, Moore Middle School Team 1 from Lincoln, Neb. won the middle school competition, and Lincoln East High School Team 1 from Lincoln, Neb. won the high school competition, qualifying both teams to win awards and compete in Washington, D.C. in April. 

Each team consisted of four competitors – and some had alternates, who were able to switch out between halves of a round – as well as one or two coaches. The four competitors scored points by answering four-point “toss-up” questions regarding topics like math, earth and space science, physics, biology, chemistry and energy, or ten-point bonus questions offered to teams if they answered the toss-up correctly.  

Round-robin morning competitions are used to seed afternoon double-elimination events. Each round-robin and double-elimination round consists of two teams of four competitors going head-to-head with one another as they attempt to be the first to answer toss-up questions and score points.  

The Science Bowl makes use of community volunteers, many of them Concordia students and faculty members, to moderate each round and keep the competition running smoothly. “Moderators” ask questions, while “questions judges” acknowledge students when they “buzz in” to answer questions. Scorekeepers keep a visual tally of the points earned by each team as the round progresses, and timekeepers ensure that competitors give answers within the allotted time.  

“We couldn’t even consider hosting the science bowl without the help of our students,” said Hermann. This year we had over 100 students who helped prepare for the event, or who helped with the competition on the days of the event. This makes the Science Bowl a real community event where we all get to work side by side.”  

The Nebraska Regional Science Bowl is a volunteer-run event that Concordia looks forward to hosting each year. The next competition will take place in February 2025.  

Interested in volunteering at the Nebraska Regional Science Bowl? Learn more here.