COCOA, Fla. – Lincoln Middle School, in Gainesville, Fla., is this year’s Southeastern regional winner of the academic portion of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Science Bowl® for middle school students. The event was held Saturday at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). The Lincoln “A” Team must now compete against seven other finalist teams from the region in the Hands-On Hydrogen competition, where they must demonstrate a functional fuel cell-powered model car, for a chance to represent Florida at the national finals in Golden, Colo., this summer. The hydrogen car competition will be held during the EnergyWhiz Olympics on May 3, 2008, at FSEC.
This year’s Lincoln “A” Team members are Matt Banks, Zadia Dupee, Rachel Keen, Rohit Singh, alternate David Liu, and coach, eighth grade science teacher, Roberta Harbrucker.
The morning started by awarding teams with candy for honors like “most creative uniforms” and “longest distance traveled”. Once the candy prizes ran out, the competition for the real prize began. During the first half of the competition, teams were given 20 seconds to discuss and decide on answers to multiple choice questions. This part of the competition ended in a “sudden death” showdown between two schools to determine who would take the final spot among the eight finalist teams continuing on in the competition.
The final eight teams were from Andrew Jackson Middle School in Titusville, Archimedean Middle Conservatory in Miami, Challenger K-8 School of Science and Math in Spring Hill, Lincoln Middle School in Gainesville, Professional Academies Magnet School in Gainesville, Ronald McNair Magnet School in Rockledge, St. Charles Borromeo in Orlando, and Trinity Preparatory School in Winter Park.
These eight teams attended an hour-long workshop where they learned how to construct and use hydrogen fuel cells. Using fuel cell kits provided by DOE and General Motors, each of the eight finalist teams must design, construct, and demonstrate a functional model car powered by the fuel cell at the EnergyWhiz Olympics.
After the fuel cell workshop and a relaxing lunch break, it was time for the double elimination round. In this fast-paced portion of the event, each team relied on its individual members to quickly buzz-in and answer questions correctly without consulting their teammates. Hours of intense academic competition passed before Lincoln Middle School was announced the winner. (more…)