Science Bowl

Taken from the National Science Bowl website:

The National Science Bowl® is a highly visible educational event and academic competition among teams of high school students who attend science seminars and compete in a verbal forum to solve technical problems and answer questions in all branches of science and math. The regional and national events encourage student involvement in math and science activities, improve awareness of career options in science and technology, and provide an avenue of enrichment and reward for academic science achievement.

It is often described as a version of Jeopardy, the differences being that you do not pick the questions and you compete in teams of five.

The current captain is Gina Ferolito.



Chemistry, Biology, Earth Science, Astronomy, Physics, Math, and General Science.

Computer Science was dropped as a category in 2002 and integrated into General Science. Practice packets for the Science Bowl contain Computer Science questions, but the actual Science Bowl will not have Computer Science as a category.

Current Events was a category for the 2005 Science Bowl, but has not appeared thus far in any other Science Bowls.


2009: 5th place in Regionals
2008: 3rd place in Regionals
2007: 2nd place in Regionals


Meetings for the Science Bowl are usually held every Friday evening in a team member's house. They are also informally held on Tuesdays after school.

The meetings are typically structured so that the team will go through 2-4 rounds of buzzing, a round being a packet of 25 questions. Throughout the meeting the team will have snacks. The team members will also go outside and participate in games of frisbee, capture the flag, freeze tag, or other similar games.



2008 (Aleksey Generozov)

Well the thing that screwed us over this year was fast math. The mistake we made was relying on one guy to cover this but people need to realize that its not going to work. The person might be tired or they could just blank out. In these instances the entire team needs to step up. Honestly, I'm sure that if everyone put some effort into it they could be really fast at it (this includes the underclassmen). The Lexington team is a perfect example of this. One question we could have easily gotten is arcsin(sin(1/3)), but LS got it first. 14 points just ripe for the taking (in fact 18 since the LS would not have gotten the points from the tossup).

I'm not saying we were a perfect team in every other regard but we had few wrong interrupts and we had a good depth of knowledge in every area (there was no types of science questions on which we were helpless). Thus, EVERYBODY needs to practice fast math. DO NOT EVEN BOTHER HAVING A FAST MATH PERSON.

2007 (Gabe Bronk)

Bad Interrupts
If you do an incorrect interrupt, call me and I’ll come and throw you off the roof of your house. Seriously, you saw what happened to the team at the 2006 ocean bowl and science bowl and the 2007 science bowl finals; you really have to go get your brain checked if you continue making incorrect interrupts. And in order to no kill yourself at competition, you have to not kill yourself at practice. Every practice should be like the quarter finals and semi finals at the 2007 science bowl. I have to say that that was darn good buzzing with no incorrect interrupts. Do whatever it takes to get you to buzz like that, whether it means putting money in a pot and giving it to whoever never does a bad interrupt over the course of many weeks, or using some other method.

Being Recognized
Always make sure that you’re the one who was recognized (not someone from the other team) before you give your answer. This happened a couple of times at science bowl, so make sure to pay close attention.


Bonuses and Math Questions
On bonuses, have the captain jot down the question and listen to all of the answer choices. Player 1 should be a very reliable person who will write down answers W and Z. Players 3 and 4 should write down X and Y, respectively. Practice this method. It worked well. Also practice being ready to respond immediately when asked what answer choice you wrote down so that the bonus discussion can be efficient. During practices, the team captain should sometimes shout out “Go down the line” to have people practice quickly reading choices W through Z in case it were necessary to do that at competition. On problems that involve calculations, don't say anything; be completely quiet if there are people trying to figure it out. If the question involves something that could be confusing, repeat it to make sure everyone knows; say something like "they're asking for which is NOT true," or "They said the volume is INcreasing."

Hold special math practices. Whenever you have a question, make sure that everyone understands how to do that problem before going onto the next one because everyone on the science bowl team needs to be good at the fast math questions; you can’t say “I’m no good at math, so I’ll just let my teammate do it” because if your teammate happens to be slow at that moment, you might not go to nationals because you didn’t bother to do the problem. They only ask easy trig and algebra questions (they no longer have calculus or harder problems), so everyone is capable of doing them. Do enough math practice so that you feel comfortable buzzing in a second before you’ve come up with a solution; you should not feel afraid to buzz in on math questions at competition. This math practice is more important than regular buzzing practice, so do a lot of it.

2005 (Jonathan Kalow)

"The major major stuff we need is:
1) not to forget our old chem+bio
2) faster math calculations
3) earth science- we know some, but if we know it well we can pwn it (remember what Dave said about ersc at nationals-nobody actually knows it well so it can be easy points)
4) weird stuff (remember that daylight savings problem and blue-ray DVD problem that we got ed over last year on)- basically current events and history of science type stuff"

Reflections On The 2006 Science Bowl


MA SciBowl
Past MA Results
National Science Bowl

Additional Pictures

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