MSJ Academic Challenge’s Science Bowl A Team placed second in the Sandia National Laboratories Regional High School Science Bowl at Las Positas College on March 2. This competition marks their highest finish in the past six years. In the day-long tournament consisting of first a round-robin stage, then a double-elimination bracket, 110 competitors and 22 teams from 12 counties vied for first place.
MSJ sent two teams to the competition. Seniors Thomas Chen, Andrew Chen, and Aadhithya Pillai, Junior Patrick Liu, and Sophomore Srinjoy Chatterjee were on the A Team. Senior Benny Feng, Sophomores Avinash Iyer and Anish Kashyap, and Freshmen Richard Chen and Titus Tsai were on the B Team.
Science Bowl matches consist of two teams that compete to answer questions about biology, physics, earth science, chemistry, and math. Both teams have a chance to buzz in for each question, and points are awarded to the first team that answers correctly. Academic Challenge President Senior Thomas Chen said, “We were confident enough to buzz in and know the question before they even finished saying it.”
Although they suffered a loss to American High School during their first match in the double-elimination stage, MSJ’s A Team defeated American High School in a second face-off. They came up against their own B Team in a subsequent round, in which both teams kept up close scores during the first half of the match. After a hard-fought battle, MSJ’s A Team managed to reach finals but lost to Dougherty Valley High School in the second half of the final round.
Academic Challenge Vice President Senior Aadhithya Pillai said, “Holding the trophy is not really what mattered to me … realizing that this is one of the last times in high school that I’m able to compete with the people that I’ve done this with for six or seven years — that was one of the most memorable moments for me.”
MSJ Academic Challenge’s Science Bowl team hopes that it can reach new heights in the following years. Pillai said, “I’m confident that the people we appoint this year will be able to push the club and all of our competition in the direction that we originally planned it to go.”
Photo Courtesy Staff Writer Thomas Chen