Bellevue students take top prize in science bowl

“Team Atom” (from left): Patrick Wang, Erich Liang, Allen Yang, Timmy Wang and Vincent  Wang .  - COURTESY PHOTO
“Team Atom” (from left): Patrick Wang, Erich Liang, Allen Yang, Timmy Wang and Vincent Wang .
— image credit: COURTESY PHOTO

A team of students from Bellevue’s Odle Middle School has won first place in the BPA Regional Science Bowl 2013 in Portland. The event is the largest BPA science regional in the country.

“Team Atom” is made up of Patrick Wang, Allen Yang, Erich Liang, Timmy Wang and Vincent Wang. They now move on, via an all expenses paid trip, to the Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C., April 25-29.

Of the 50 middle school teams headed to the National competition, eight will be rewarded scholarships to pursue educations in math and science.

The Oregon competition featured 64 middle school teams. In addition to Team Atom, two other Bellevue teams – “Galaxy Science” and “Xenon Science” – made it into the top 16, with "Xenon Science" finishing in seventh place. Two teams from Portland placed second and third.

Team Atom adviser, Cathy Zhao, said the competition featured 80 percent knowledge-based questions covering variety of sciences as well as math.

While Zhao said while most teams in the competition have been preparing for months, Team Atom only formed three weeks ago after hearing about the regional competition. She attributes their success to the excellent education provided to the students by the Bellevue School District, and it’s highly esteemed PRISM program.

“Our kids are the best of the best in math,” Zhao said. “I’m so proud of these kids.”

While the team is not currently affiliated with the Bellevue School District, Zhao said it is the club’s goal to work with teachers and administrators at Odle to make an official science club at the school in the next year.

“It’d be a great opportunity to get more kids involved with science,” Zhao said.



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