Five River Forest Roosevelt Middle School eighth graders will be heading to the National Middle School Science Bowl in Washington, DC, after winning the regional competition at Argonne Laboratory in early February.
The team includes Chance Bayles, Anishka Bandara, Eric Mulshine, Pun Pratuangtham and Sanjeev Venkatesan.
"The team practices every day at lunch and on their own at home," explained Sandra Painter, the Roosevelt math and humanities teacher who has coached the team for the past 12 years. This is the eighth time Roosevelt will be sending a team to the national competition.
The Science Bowl includes two elements – an academic competition that determines who participates in the national Bowl, and an electric car race that has its finals in Washington. About 50 regional teams are expected at the national event, April 25-29. The Roosevelt team receives an all-expenses paid trip from the U.S. Department of Energy, sponsor of the competition.
The students are not only studying, they are working on the car that they must design and build. "They must use a specific motor and battery, but the rest is up to them," Painter noted. The team will be able to practice at an electric car competition April 13 in Burr Ridge.