First Science Bowl Team In Eight Years Wins Regionals

Seniors+Catherine+Nguyen%2C+Vibhu+Someshwar%2C+Jacob+Shpiece+and+junior+Gabrianna+Andrews+proudly+showcase+the+trophy+they+won+after+defeating+other+Maryland+high+schools+and+winning+the+regional+competition+in+January.+--Adam+Bensimhon

Seniors Catherine Nguyen, Vibhu Someshwar, Jacob Shpiece and junior Gabrianna Andrews proudly showcase the trophy they won after defeating other Maryland high schools and winning the regional competition in January. --Adam Bensimhon

Seniors Catherine Nguyen, Vibhu Someshwar, Jacob Shpiece and junior Gabrianna Andrews proudly showcase the trophy they won after defeating other Maryland high schools and winning the regional competition in January. –Adam Bensimhon

After countless rounds against some of the most experienced teams in Maryland, the newly-formed RHS science bowl team went undefeated against 24 other high schools at the Maryland Science Bowl Jan. 19.

The first RHS science bowl team in at least eight years defeated tough opponents like Blair HS, who had not lost the regional competition in five years. “It is so amazing that they beat a�� powerhouse teams that in the past have just blown away the competition,” said principal Dr. Debra Munk.

The team is coached by Kathie Robbins, a volunteer in the RHS science department through the American Association for the Advancement of Science. After senior Vibhu Someshwar asked several science teachers about starting a science bowl, Robbins was asked to coach the team.

Robbins had no idea what to expect. “I’ve never done this before either so I didn’t know anything about the science bowl. When we made it through to the first round, I was a�� amazed. And then they continued to win game after game,” said Robbins.

Someshwar, along with seniors Jacob Shpiece, Catherine Nguyen and junior Gabrianna Andrews, are the members of the team. While some of the schools they beat had as many as three teams with ranging levels of experience, the RHS science bowl barely started out with enough students to make one team.

After recently transferring to RHS from Morgantown High School in West Virginia, Someshwar took the lead in forming the team. He is the only member with previous science bowl experience. (30)

After making it to the national competition and placing fourth in the nation at his old school, Someshwar wanted to continue that success at RHS. “I really wanted to keep that exciting activity going,” said Someshwar. “When I came here and I found out that there was no science bowl, I just was determined to get one going.”

Due to his determination, the team emerged and entered into the Maryland state competition. They were asked questions in a round-robin format pertaining to all branches of science: physics, chemistry, biology, earth science, energy and even mathematics.

To prepare for the competitions, the team meets weekly on Wednesdays after school. Much of the studying is done individually, though the teammates sometimes work together.

Despite the fact that lots of studying is involved, members were not deterred from joining. “I’m really interested in the sciences,” said Nguyen. “I’ve taken probably all the science classes at Rockville and I’ve done all the AP courses for sciences.”

For Andrews, the science bowl team provides a limitless opportunity to learn all there is to know about science. “I know some but not nearly as much as I want to know,” said Andrews. “I’m hoping to go into medicine so I thought this would be a good opportunity to continue to expand my knowledge.”

RHS will be representing Maryland in the National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C. and will face off against regional winners of other states. The national competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, will take place April 25 to 29.

Although RHSa�� win against many other tough schools in the county surprised many, students and teachers maintain high hopes for the team. “I think [other teams] were so shocked that little old Rockville beat them,” said Dr. Munk. “I expect them to take it all.”