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Idaho Enterprise

MHS Academic Team Takes First in Division at INL SE Idaho Science Bowl!

Advisor Jennie McClain, Curtis Huckaby, Joshua Pickett, Micah Bulter, Madelyn Shaw, Alex Christensen, and Joe Willie

On Friday, March 10, Southeastern Idaho high school and middle school students tested their math and science knowledge at the Department of Energy Office of Science Workforce Development for Teachers and Students Idaho Science Bowl.  The event is sponsored by Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the Department of Energy Science Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists Program (DOE-SC-WDTS).  This year marks the 29th year the INL has sponsored a math and science quiz-bowl tournament.

The Malad High School Academic team competing consisted of Curtis Huckaby, Joshua Pickett, Madelyn Shaw, Alex Christensen, Micah Butler, and Joe Willie. The tournament took place in Idaho Falls at the ISU Center for Higher Education on Science Center Drive.  

22 teams competed in a round robin tournament based on school enrollment size in three divisions.  The purpose of the regional competitions is to choose one winner to attend the national science bowl. In the first round of the competition, the schools were grouped according to school size.  Malad’s record against its competition was:

1st Round: Malad 120 points, Compass Charter School 60 points

2nd round: Malad 125, West Side 65,

3rd round: Malad 150, Oakley 65

4th round: Malad 155, Ririe 40

The team went undefeated to win 1st place for the 2A class.

After the round robin round, the top two teams from each class compete in what is  called the Champion of Champions round.  Malad’s team has made it to this level a few times in years past, but has always been outmatched against the bigger schools.  This year MHS was matched up against Idaho Falls High School. They finished regular play tied 90-90 and went into overtime.  

In overtime, one team leaves the room and the remaining team is given three questions, with the number of correct answers being recorded. Then the other team comes back in and is given the same three questions, with the number of correct answers recorded. After the first overtime round, both teams had answered one question correctly, so a second overtime was initiated.  In the second round, Idaho Falls answered one correctly Malad was scored a zero.  

“We answered ‘straight’ to a question that the answer was ‘linear,’” Coach Jennie McClain said.  It might be noted that the answer in this case was an issue of nomenclature rather than knowledge.  “We took a team of 5 sophomores and 1 junior, and we were able to be competitive against a larger school with older students.  These kids are amazing!”

Malad High School student Josh Pickett was awarded an All Region player award, which is an award given out by the coaches.  All of the coaches nominate players from each team that they feel were exceptional players.

Malad initially competed in Class C, against Wendell HS, Oakley HS, Mackay HS, Ririe HS, Soda Springs HS, Challis HS, Butte County HS, West Side HS, and West Jefferson HS, where they took first place.  Idaho Falls HS was a part of Class A, which included the largest schools from the Southeast Idaho area.  

Hillcrest High School from Ammon was ultimately the winner of the tournament, and will be attending the national tournament in Washington, D.C. on April 27 through May 1 of this year.

Over 14,000 students compete in the Science Bowl each year.  Since 1991, over 335,000 have competed for a chance at the national award.  Each team is composed of four students, one alternate, and a teacher who serves as an advisor and a coach.  The tournament tests knowledge of a number of different disciplines, including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, math, and energy.  The Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the largest U.S. sponsor of basic research in physical sciences in the country.

The Enterprise congratulates the MHS Academic Team on its fantastic performance, and wishes the team further amazing results in the future!

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