The Chariton Academic Team competed in the 31st Annual Regional High School Science Bowl via a virtual ZOOM format on Monday, Jan. 25. The Science Bowl is hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Ames Laboratory on the ISU Campus, but due to COVID-19 was held virtually through ZOOM for the first time.
The winning team will compete in the National Science Bowl, also via ZOOM throughout the month of April of 2021 with the final match to be held on May 22, 2021. Ames repeated as the 2021 Iowa Science Bowl champion, with Liberty, Dowling Catholic, and Des Moines Valley all making the semi-finals.
The Chariton team members were Ulyana Kutsel, Mark Pyatak, Vanessa Pyatak, and Mallory Logan. There were about 30 teams from all size of schools from around the state, which is quite a few less than a normal year. All teams got two sets of 18 questions with a toss-up question worth four points and if you answered the toss-up question correctly the team got to confer on a 10 point bonus question.
The Chariton team was not able to compete as a group at school as scheduled due to school being cancelled on Monday, Jan. 25. So each student used the home Wi-Fi to compete from their home. That made it more difficult to communicate on the bonus questions due to time constraints. Chariton answered some of the questions but did not score enough points to qualify for the semi-finals held on Saturday, Jan. 30.
Coach Tim Curnutte has these comments to add about the contest being held via ZOOM instead of in-person. “The inability to spend as much time communicating amongst the players of the team created a difficult situation on the bonus questions. I am still grateful to the workers of the Ames Laboratory for taking the time to get some form of Science Bowl held. I am hopeful that the 2022 Science Bowl will be in-person at Iowa State University.”