celebrate education - brought to you by the amarillo globe-news

Brain power bags bucks

St. Andrew's wins Science Bowl at WT

By Josh Burton

They're going to the U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl in June.

The St. Andrew's Episcopal School red team won the fifth Middle School Science Bowl on Saturday afternoon at West Texas A&M University.

The team celebrated by high-fiving and hugging one another after winning the finals.

One of the team members, Saahil Mehta, said he loves science and math.

"Math and science are my life," Saahil Mehta said. "Ask any one of them, I'm a nerd."

Two of the red team members, Saahil and his brother Kunal Mehta, made the nationals last year.

Last year, the team made it to the fifth round at nationals, seventh-grade team member Saahil said.

"This year, I've studied a lot more," he said. "I typed 108 pages of condensed notes."

Saahil learned a lot of things at last year's national competition, but he's always kept this in mind: "Don't get nervous," he said.

If a question comes up and the answer is known, it's more difficult to answer the question if that person is nervous, Saahil Mehta said.

Each team member studied a different subject to prepare for competition, eighth-grade team member Niral Desai said. Doing that seems to have paid off.

"You can't just have one smart person," Kunal Mehta said. "They all have to know things."

Bowl competition consists of two halves. Each half is eight minutes long.

A team scores four points if it answers a toss up question correctly. That team then gets a bonus question worth 10 points.

The best strategy is to go into each competition like the team is the underdog, Kunal Mehta said.

"It keeps us on our toes," Kunal Mehta said.

It's been tons of fun, red team coach Marcella Herrington said. The students have a good time competing.

Team members Saahil and Kunal Mehta, Desai and Cooper Lindsey will all go to Denver for the national bowl June 19-22, along with alternate Nikit Desai.

The competition Saturday was sponsored by the Pantex Plant. The morning session was a round-robin among the 21 teams separated into four divisions. The top four in each division made it to the 16-team double-elimination tournament in the afternoon.

Teams had to buzz in and try to answer the question correctly. If the first team answered the question incorrectly, the other team would have a chance to answer it. Topics included earth science, physical science, life science, general science and math.

St. Andrew's red team also won $1,000 for its science program.

Second place was de Zavala Middle School's blue team; it won $500 for the science program. Third place was Canyon Junior High School's purple team; it won $250.

Schools participating in the Pantex-sponsored competition were St. Andrew's, de Zavala, Canyon, Arbor Christian Academy, Clarendon Junior High, Greenways Intermediate School, Highland Park Middle School, Lazbuddie Middle School, Panhandle Junior High, River Road Middle School and San Jacinto Christian Academy.

calendar of events
  • January 11
    Kickoff of 2009 Program
    Find out what Celebrate Education is all about in this special section in your Sunday paper.
  • March 7
    Regional Spelling Bee, West Texas A&M University
    The annual Regional Spelling Bee will feature the top spellers from the Amarillo area. The top five winners will receive scholarship money ranging from $500 to $5,000 and the winner will travel to Washington, D.C., in June to represent the area in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
  • Spring and Fall
    Amarillo Reads community-wide reading projects.
    Dates and details TBA
  • April
    Amarillo Education Matching Grants Program. Exact date TBA
  • April 10
    What's a Kid to Do Special Section
  • April 12
    What's a Kid to Do at the Amarillo Civic Center
    This event will focus on activities and camps for children to participate in during the summer..
  • May 8-29
    Beating the Odds
    A series of stories published daily in the Amarillo Globe-News during the graduation season that profiles people who have inspiring stories to tell about the degree they are about to receive.
  • May 12
    Ready for the Real World program at Amarillo Civic Center
    AISD juniors get training on what's going to face them in a little more than a year.
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Special Section
  • May 16
    Best and Brightest Event at West Texas A&M University
  • Fall
    Discover College Day
    Fifth graders from area schools visit college campuses.
  • October 1
    Great Jobs Special Section
    Focusing on well paying jobs available in the area that people may not know about.
  • November 2
    Career Education Special Section
    Focusing on businesses and others in the community helping young people gain a career vision.
  • November
    Yes You Can Event
    Designed to help people gain information about the next level of education from GED to PhD. Date TBA.
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