Southeast Students Compete in Middle School Science Bowl at FSEC

A record-setting 33 teams participated in the Southeast Regional Middle School Science Bowl hosted by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) on April 1, making this annual event one of the largest regional science bowl competitions in the nation.

The Science Bowl is designed to encourage middle school students to excel in mathematics, science and engineering. The event features both a fast-paced question-and-answer competition and a hands-on engineering event. Teams participate in the academic competition until one winning team remains. The top eight teams then participate in a hands-on science activity, building and racing a hydrogen fuel cell model car.

Harris County-Carver Middle School from Harris County (Georgia) won the academic portion of the program and will represent the Southeast at the National Science Bowl in Denver, CO, on June 21-24. The team, which won every round of their competition, will design, build and race their hydrogen fuel cell car at the national event.

The eight finalist teams also participated in a hands-on hydrogen workshop. Two Cocoa Beach High School students and former National Middle School Science Bowl champions Kyla Davis Horn and Antony Stabile provided some pointers on winning strategies and competition expectations to the throng of middle school students.

In addition, the teams were provided with hydrogen fuel cells from General Motors, one of the co-sponsors. The hydrogen workshop was held to deepen the students’ understanding of hydrogen fuel cell technology and prepare the teams for the National Science Bowl and the Florida Solar Energy Center’s EnergyWhiz Olympics. Assorted construction materials were funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The eight top teams will return to FSEC for the EnergyWhiz Olympics on May 6 to demonstrate their hydrogen fuel cell cars during the daylong event that includes the Junior Solar Sprint, High School Hydrogen Sprint and the Middle School Hands-on Hydrogen Demonstration.

For more information, contact Susan Schleith at 321-638-1017 or at susan@fsec.ucf.edu.

The Florida Solar Energy Center, a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research center in the country. Current research activities include solar water and pool heating, solar electric and distributed generation systems, energy-efficient buildings, alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel, fuel cells and other energy areas. For more information about the center, visit www.fsec.ucf.edu or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at (321) 638-1015.

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