Lone Oak Middle School dominated the Department of Energy Regional Science Bowl on Friday, with its eighth- and seventh-grade teams taking home first and second place, respectively. Henderson North Middle finished third.
The eighth-grade team now faces its next hurdle: the middle school competition of DOE's National Science Bowl, set for April 24-28 in Washington, D.C.
"The students have been studying for it all year long," coach Daniel Rushing said. "They put a lot of pressure on themselves to do well."
Drew Schofield, David Dobb, David Perriello and Ethan Brown comprised the winning team. Brown, the team's science specialist, said he prepared for the Science Bowl with practice questions.
"I sort of perfected what I had missed on the practice questions," Brown said, adding that he was proud of his team's performance and looked forward to the National Science Bowl. "I think it's going to be pretty cool."
Lone Oak Middle's teams numbered among 16 that competed in the annual event, which began at 8:30 a.m. in Crounse Hall on the campus of West Kentucky Community & Technical College. Teams hailed from 10 regional middle schools, with Ballard County, Calloway County, Graves County, Heath, Lyon County, Murray, Paducah and South Marshall comprising the other eight.
Middle and high school student teams consist of four students, one alternate, and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach. The fast-paced, question-and-answer format covers a range of science disciplines, including biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, energy and math.
Some of the questions left even the coaches scratching their heads.
"There are very upper-level science questions that, even in my science classes in college, we never even thought about learning," said Zach Rudolph, who coached Lone Oak's seventh-grade team.
Contact Laurel Black, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8641, or follow @LaurelFBlack on Twitter.