Nevada teens compete in math, science competition for trip to nation's capital

Nevada teens compete in math, science competition for trip to nation’s capital

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Teens from across Nevada were up early Saturday morning ready to be quizzed on math and science for a chance to visit the nation’s capital.

“A lot of the teams, they have lots of expertise in their own field. Like, there’s questions based on specific subjects, like physics, biology, chemistry,” Shayan Harvi, a junior at Palo Verde High School in Summerlin, said.

There were four students from Palo Verde representing their school at the Nevada Science Bowl held at the College of Southern Nevada’s campus in North Las Vegas. This was the first time it’s been held in person in 3 years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I personally always loved the medical field. I really like explaining more about the human anatomy, the body, how our minds are made, because we’re all so unique but we all share the same body,” Trinity Hsu, a Senior at Palo Verde High School, said.

The U.S. Department of Energy began the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).

Several states hold their own science bowls with teams comprised of four students, one alternate, and a teacher who serves as a coach.

Andrea Jydstrup-McKinney was one of the coaches at Saturday’s competition.

“I come from the STEM field, I used to work in cancer research. So, I try to use my personal background to help encourage them and my time in the industry to say hey, ‘we need a lot more individuals in STEM, especially females,’” Jydstrup-McKinney, a teacher at West Career and Technical Academy, said. She is also the Biotechnology Program Leader at West Career and Technical Academy.

Data shows women, Black, and Hispanic people are underrepresented in the STEM workforce.

“Getting students involved early on in these areas is important. What you’re seeing is kind of a culmination because this starts with the parents, and it starts with the teachers in the younger grades,” Dr. David Bowman, the manager for the Nevada field office at the U.S. Department of Energy, said.

Davidson Academy in Reno took first and second place, while Clark High School came in third. Davidson was awarded $5,000 and advances to the National Science Bowl, which will be held in Washington, D.C., from April 27 to May 1.

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