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Montgomery College to Host 2013 Maryland Science Bowl, Jan. 19

Community Members Encouraged to Volunteer

Montgomery College will host the 2013 Maryland High School Science Bowl Competition on Saturday, January 19, 2013. The winner of this regional competition advances to the 23rd Annual National Science Bowl Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, April 25 to 29, 2013. Interest in the Maryland Science Bowl has grown exponentially in the seven years the College has hosted. Organizers anticipate 40 teams participating in this year’s competition with representation from counties from across the state.

Montgomery Blair High School repeated as the Maryland Regional Champion in 2012. The team was very competitive at the national competition, advancing from the round robin competition to the elimination round of 16 teams. Blair placed eighth in the competition that featured 69 high school regional champion teams. For the regional competition, preliminary rounds will be held in the morning and early afternoon in Montgomery College’s Science Center and Science West Building on the Rockville Campus. Semifinal and final matches will be held in the Theatre Arts Arena in the late afternoon.

Event organizers need volunteers to assist throughout the day in order to make the 2013 event as successful as past competitions. Volunteers with math and science backgrounds are especially welcome. However, those with experience in all disciplines and industries are encouraged to donate their time. Only a small number of volunteer positions require a math and science skill set. Volunteer training sessions take place leading up to the competition. Those interested in donating their time and encouraging students to pursue math and science must register online at: http://cms.montgomerycollege.edu/sciencebowlvolunteer.aspx.

Volunteers will include Montgomery College faculty, staff, and students, as well as volunteers from higher education partners, the University of Maryland’s College Park and University College campuses and The Johns Hopkins University. Other area businesses and organizations interested in STEM education are also providing volunteers, including Washington Gas, QIAGEN, the Army Research Laboratory, BioReliance Corp., Lockheed Martin, The Tower Companies, U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, MITRE, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, IBM Corporation, the Naval Surface Warfare Center – Carderock Division, Neelsville Middle School, Owen Software, Paint Branch High School, SAIC, So Others Might Eat, Washington Hospital Center, and Tridea Works, LLC.

This year, Montgomery College will be partnering with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) to have middle school girls volunteer for the event. This is part of a year-long partnership with MCPS, the University of Maryland College Park, and The Universities at Shady Grove to build middle school girls’ interest in STEM activities and careers. Students from the College’s new Hillman Entrepreneurs Program will also volunteer.

Both Washington Gas and QIAGEN are providing grants in support of Montgomery College’s efforts in hosting the statewide Science Bowl competition. Washington Gas President and Chief Operating Officer Adrian P. Chapman will provide opening remarks to the high school students participating in the 2012 competition.

In addition, Maryland Science Bowl competitors will hear from a former NASA astronaut who now serves as the division commander for the Naval Surface Warfare Center/Carderock Division (NSWC/CD). Captain Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper has an MS mechanical engineering from MIT and has served the US Navy in a variety of posts involving ship salvage and repair. She also served as a NASA astronaut for 10 years completing two Space Shuttle missions that included five space walks. Captain Piper’s guest speaking engagement for the Maryland Science Bowl has been made possible with the help of Ms. Toby Ratcliffe, Educational Outreach Coordinator, through the Educational Partnership Agreement between the College and NSWC/CD.

Additional support for the Maryland Science Bowl is being provided by the College’s Office of Academic Initiatives and Montgomery College/Montgomery County Public Schools Partnerships. For more information about the 2013 Maryland Science Bowl, please contact the event’s coordinator, Michael Mehalick, at michael.mehalick@montgomerycollege.edu or at 240-567-4083.

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