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National Science Bowl team heading to nationals

In just its first year, the Greenhills National Science Bowl club already is sending a team to the national competition in Washington, D.C.

The club, coached by science teacher Bob Ause and parent Stephanie Reeves, sent three teams to the Michigan Regional National Science Bowl competition on Feb. 22 at Saginaw Valley State University. Ten schools from around the state sent a total of 15 teams to the gathering.

The Greenhills team of Brendan Kelley ’14, Frank Fazekas ’13, Tanwei Chen ’13, and Alex Reeves ’13 finished in first place, winning 13 of 14 matches, and will represent Greenhills in late April at the national competition, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy. The national competition will feature 120 teams from middle and high schools around the country.

At regionals, the exhaustive round-robin competition involved head-to-head matches between teams, with a maximum of four players competing for each team. Each match consisted of two eight-minute halves, during which each team answered questions from a moderator on topics including biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, earth science, energy, and mathematics.

Under the competition’s complicated rules, for so-called toss-up multiple choice or short-answer questions, the first team to buzz in gets an opportunity to answer.

“Part of the competition involves knowing your science stuff, obviously, but part of the competition is to optimize your chances by knowing how to strategically buzz in,” Ause said.

Greenhills’ Team 2, featuring Libby Reeves ’17, Andrew Gitlin ’14, Kemal Duran ’15, Nathan Joss ’15, and Julian Wellman ’17, placed fifth and were coached by Stephanie Reeves. Greenhills’ Team 3, coached by Ause, competed with only three students: Grace Davis ’17, Karen Guan ’15, and Madelyn Parks ’17.

Ause said the performance bodes well for the future, especially considering the large number of younger students on the teams.

“It was a very intense experience,” Ause said. “I was exhausted and I didn’t even have to compete!”

Saturday, April 24
Open to anyone ages 16 and up. Limited quantities available.
Greenhills is closed for mid-winter break and will return on Tuesday, Feb. 22.