Concordia hosts Nebraska Science Bowl

Published by Logan Tuttle 4 months ago on Fri, Feb 18, 2022 8:32 AM
Concordia University, Nebraska hosted the Nebraska Science Bowl for middle school and high school students on Feb. 5 and Feb. 19, respectively. Pictured is the first-place Moore Middle School (Lincoln) team of Rikhil Jasti, Ayush Mishra, Jay Peng, Supun Fernando, Anish Koduri, coached by Luke Luxford. Also pictured are Dr. John Jurchen, moderator; Malia Rolf, question judge; and Sara Huss, recognizer.

Concordia’s Department of Natural and Computer Science recently hosted the Nebraska Science Bowl for state middle and high school students vying for a berth in the national tournament. 

The Nebraska Science Bowl is a regional tournament, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, which also sponsors the National Science Bowl®, set for April 28-May 2 in Washington DC. 

“The national tournament is one of the top science competitions in the country,” said Dr. Robert Hermann, Department of Natural and Computer Science chair. 

On Feb. 5, the team from Moore Middle School of Rikhil Jasti, Ayush Mishra, Jay Peng, Supun Fernando and Anish Koduri, coached by Luke Luxford, beat 26 other teams for the opportunity to compete in the national tournament. The high school tournament is set for Feb. 19, with 24 teams registered, Hermann said.  

The opportunity for Concordia to host the Nebraska tournament was something the department didn’t want to pass up, Hermann said, because it provided the university’s students and faculty a chance to work with highly motivated middle and high school students.

ScienceBowl22_Ella Moll_16x9.jpg
Ella Moll was one of the Concordia students who served as a volunteer during the Nebraska Science Bowl middle school competition on Feb. 5. 

This year’s competition was held virtually—with teams competing in their own virtual room—where they answered questions spanning biology, chemistry, physics, earth and space, math and energy. Along with the team in each room were three volunteers who moderated the questions and responses. More than 95 Concordia students assisted with the two events, along with the department’s faculty, Hermann said. 

“The questions they’re answering are really hard, and I think it’s good for all of us to see the level of dedication and intelligence these students bring,” Hermann said. “It gives us a good opportunity to serve the students in Nebraska in a really authentic way. It’s also a meaningful way to introduce Concordia to this highly motivated group of students, and for them to associate our university with the sciences.” 

Hermann said the department is planning to host next year’s state tournaments, with the hopes of being in person with more of a head-to-head competition format.