Science for Community, a nonprofit created by a junior at Interlake High School, recently hosted its fourth annual Buzz Bowl, which raised $4,000 to the Bellevue Schools Foundation.
Buzz Bowl is a fast paced science and math challenge game that gives students who think they may want to compete in a science competition the opportunity to see what it is like and sharpen their skills.
This year, students from fifth to eighth grade attended Odle Middle School in Bellevue on Jan. 27. A total of 26 elementary and middle schools across four school districts along with more than 350 students and parents and 60 volunteers attended the event.
Throughout the years, the Buzz Bowl events in Bellevue have motivated more than 500 students from 52 schools across five school districts to self-study complex topics across several STEM subjects. Students receive level-appropriate reading material and guidance, and they are never pitted against kids from a more advanced level. Buzz Bowl’s fun format makes it easier to learn challenging STEM subjects, such as earth and space science, astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology, and math.
Aum Upadhyay, the founder and president of Science for Community is a nationally accomplished, multi-talented scholar and leader, having participated in the National Science Bowl at the regionals level.
“I wanted to create a strong STEM community by discouraging the culture of awarding only the top 0.01 percent and eliminating the rest,” Upadhyay said of his desire to host Buzz Bowl. “Intimidation during competition and complex textbooks discourage millions of students from thousands of middle schools in the U.S.A. SFC’s mission is to instill excitement for learning STEM subjects early, in challenging yet fun ways through the Buzz Bowl.”
Upadhyay has excelled at the You Be The Chemist challenge by winning the Washington state championship twice and winning second place at nationals among 16,000 students in 2015. He was ranked top 141 in the United States in the Chemistry Olympiad in 2017 among 17,000 students. He is also an avid Science Olympiad participant who regularly wins gold and silver medals at regional and state competitions.
Upadhyay has ambitious goals for 2018 and is planning to host the first Buzz Bowl for underserved schools in the area.
“Early exposure to STEM in a fun manner is critical for our education system,” Upadhyay said.
To find out more about Science for Community and past events, visit www.scienceforcommunity.org.