Lakewood science teams bowls over competition

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Lakewood High School’s science team took the top place in the Colorado High School Science Bowl, and will travel to Washington, D.C., in April to compete in the nationals.

The team defeated 42 other teams at the competition on Jan. 26 at Dakota Ridge High School in Littleton. The team only had one loss, against Cheyenne Mountain High School.

“For 20 years, the Department of Energy has been running this national science bowl program,” said Lakewood science teacher and team coach, Don Cameron. “It’s set up like Jeopardy, with four people competing at a time.”

Subbing out team members is allowed, and so the school’s A-team is made up of five members: Tommy Fan, Peter Kim, Tyler Middleton, Jacob Stufflebeam and Elijah Veal, all of whom will be traveling to Washington to compete against 70 other teams.

According to Fan, a senior who joined the club during his junior year, the questions come from a wide variety of subjects, from biology and chemistry to math and physics.

“Some of the questions are about who came up with a particular theorem or law,” he said. “Our coach is really helpful, and we spend around an hour once a week after school doing a mock session.”

Cameron said during the practice sessions he tries to make it as similar to the competition as possible, but in the end it is up to the team members knowing a lot about science.

“The competition really appeals to kids have already have a bit of a science bent, and it can help to keep them interested in science,” he said. “These kids don’t always get a chance to shine, so this is a great opportunity for them.”

Fan said that last year the team placed sixth, so he and his teammates are really excited to go to Washington and see how they do this year. Working with his teammates also happens to be his favorite part about being on the team.

“It’s really great when we work together to come up with an answer, since each one of us has a special area we focus on,” he said.