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SMHS team headed for regional Science Bowl

A team of Signal Mountain High School students is traveling Saturday, Feb. 23 to the upcoming regional competition of the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science’s National Science Bowl at Pellissippi State Community College in Friendsville, Tenn.

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From left are Signal Mountain High School Science Bowl team members Colman Bell, Marah Toewes, Scarlett Smith, Kayla Overbay and Will Paturalski.

“For over 20 years DOE’s National Science Bowl has sharpened the math and science skills of America’s young people and provided a fun, exciting path for students to excel at learning,” said Patricia M. Dehmer, deputy director for science programs in DOE’s Office of Science.

This is the second year SMHS has had a team participate in the event, said Jenny Wielbruda, who is coaching the team for the first time.

Students on the team include sophomore Will Paturalski, juniors Scarlett Smith, Kayla Overbay (team captain) and Marah Toewes, and senior Colman Bell, the only team member to have participated last year.

Wielbruda said student participants are chosen based on recommendations made by the school’s science and math teachers.

“We tried to get students in an array of science classes,” she said of the team, composed of students currently taking either biology, physics or chemistry.

All schools from Tennessee are eligible to submit teams, which are approved to participate on a first-come, first-served basis. This year’s Tennessee regional event will have more than 250 total students competing on 56 teams from 50 schools, with McCallie School being the only other school with a team from the Chattanooga area.

Along with allowing students who excel in math and science an opportunity to be recognized and awarded for their achievement, the Science Bowl also promotes an interest in careers that are important for the economic strength of the United States.

“More than ever, today our nation needs a skilled science and technology workforce to remain prosperous and competitive in the world,” said Dehmer. “The National Science Bowl is nurturing and inspiring the scientists and engineers of America’s future.”

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