Hoover High science bowl participants

Hoover High School students, (l-r) junior Meagan Yuen, senior Jacob Deyell, juniors Charis Ramirez, and Daphne Bogosian and sophomore Kristina Laue, who will compete in a regional competition of the National Science Bowl tomorrow, are shown at the Glendale school on Friday, January 31, 2014. The regional battle of brains will determine if these students will compete in the national finals in Washington, D.C. (Raul Roa / Staff Photographer / January 31, 2014)

Students at Hoover and Crescenta Valley high schools will compete Saturday in a regional competition to determine which team from across Southern California will compete in the National Science Bowl hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C. in April.

The two Glendale high schools are among 31 school teams from San Juan Capistrano to Redondo Beach which will compete at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the regional contest.

Sixteen-year-old Meagan Yuen, captain of Hoover High’s science bowl team which formed at the start of the school year, said team members have been practicing for the bowl for two to three hours every Saturday since October.

Across the country, more than 1,800 teams will compete in about 70 regional competitions that will challenge them to answer questions related to earth science, physics, biology and astronomy in a fast-paced format.

“I think I can speak for the team when I say that science bowl is a lot of fun,” Yuen said. “We enjoy the competitive spirit of the bowl and the chance to show off our scientific knowledge.”

An example of a question that will be asked is, “What planet has the greatest variation in temperature over a single one of its planetary days?” The answer: Mercury.

Crescenta Valley High students have been practicing three or four times each week for the past month for Saturday’s event.

A few of the five teammates have already gained experience working in labs and 17-year-old Devi Ganapathi said most of the team is leaning toward careers in science.

“It’s a really good learning experience,” she said of the science bowl.

Linda Tandy, who advises Hoover’s science team, said the science bowl competition is a high-energy event with “stratospheric” expectations.

“What it means for me to be part of the science bowl competition … is that I get to hang out with really smart teenagers,” she said. “It is amazing to watch Hoover’s students compete, answering science and math questions at lightning-bolt speed.”

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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