February 6, 2007
SCIENCE STARS PERFORM! ACADEMIC STARS ON 42 TEAMS FROM 27 HIGH SCHOOLS COMPETE FOR LADWP SCIENCE BOWL REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
LOS ANGELES — The day before the Academy Awards, the City and LADWP host their own set of superstars. More than 200 of the City’s best high school academic science stars will be seeking prizes, trophies and the regional championship at the 15th Annual Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Science Bowl, to be held Saturday, Feb. 24 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the LADWP downtown headquarters, 111 N. Hope St. The public is welcome to attend.
A total of 42 teams from 27 public, charter and private high schools throughout the city of Los Angeles are expected to participate this year. LADWP regional championship teams have among the best records of any area in the nation having won four national titles and placed in the top five ranking teams nine out of the last 12 years at the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C. In 2006, the North Hollywood High School Science Bowl Team placed second in the nation.
Also for the first time, there will be an alumni coach serving as a volunteer moderator. Richard Erdman, retired science teacher from Venice High School, served as the school’s science bowl coach for 14 years. He led his teams to five regional titles and two national championships.
Two former LADWP Science Bowl participating students in 1993 from Venice High School, Dr. Adam Diament and Tim Liggett, will also return as volunteer moderators.
“We are pleased that the LADWP Science Bowl has developed into such an important annual event that it not only attracts some of the nation’s most talented and hardworking academic superstars but also successful program alumni. The amount of knowledge and depth of understanding that the students possess is unbelievable,” said George Rofail, chair of the Science Bowl Volunteer Steering Committee.
Rofail added that the program encourages participation by students from all backgrounds and areas of the city. The program, he said has attained such prestige locally and nationally that colleges look to students’ successes at the event as hallmarks of achievement.
Participating team members, he said, have gone on to attend some of the most competitive colleges and universities in the nation including Harvard University, Yale University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, University of California, Berkeley, Columbia University, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and Stanford University.
Science Bowl is a fast-paced game-show style competition in which two teams of four students, with an alternate, answer toss-up questions from a moderator. Individual students buzz in. The student that buzzes in the fastest with the correct answer earns four points for his or her team. Then that team has the exclusive right to answer the bonus question worth 10 points.
The LADWP Science Bowl buzzer competition is in two parts. In the morning from 8:30 a.m. to approximately 12:30 p.m., teams compete in Round Robin League play. Winners advance to a Double Elimination Tournament in the afternoon followed by the final round to determine the regional champion beginning at approximately 4:15 p.m.
In addition to the “buzzer competition,” schools in the Science Bowl also have an opportunity to participate in the Franklin Lu Hands-On Competition, in the afternoon, which poses a different activity and challenge every year. A separate group of prizes are provided to student team members that are successful in this event.
Based on the format of the General Electric College Bowl television program, Science Bowl questions cover such technical fields as physics, chemistry, astronomy, earth and physical science, calculus, trigonometry, technology and current events in math, science and computer fields.
The winning team members in the LADWP Science Bowl will each receive the $1000 Hitachi Scholarship. Their school will also receive a trophy and $2000 toward the purchase of science equipment or materials.
Additional scholarship prizes for second to fourth place team members range from $1,000 U.S. Savings Bonds to $200 gift cards. Also, $1250 to $1,750 in equipment or materials will be awarded to schools for teams placing second through fourth. The winning team will travel to Washington, D.C., April 26 to April 30, to represent the city and the regional competition at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl.
The LADWP Science Bowl is made possible by 100 volunteers, mainly LADWP employees and their families.
In addition to the LADWP, other sponsors this year include CityView Ch. 35, the Hitachi Southern California Regional Community Action Committee, the Hitachi Foundation, AT&T, Gelson’s Markets, City National Bank, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the Water and Power Community Credit Union, the Engineers’ Council, the Water Employees’ Club, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the U.S. Department of Energy.
The LADWP Science Bowl is one of 67 regional competitions in 40 states and among 10 in California, all part of the U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl program. Annually, about 12,000 students nationally compete in one of the regional competitions.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is the nation’s largest municipally owned utility. It has provided services to the residents and businesses of the city for more than a century.
Walter Zeisl, (213) 367-1342;
(213) 792-5521 Cell
Kimberley Hughes, (213) 367-4417;
(213) 792-9599 Cell