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2014 Maryland Science Bowl Attracts More Than 200 Competitors from Across the State, Jan. 18

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett to speak to students Saturday

More than 200 high school students from across the state will converge on Montgomery College Saturday, January 18, for the 2014 Maryland Science Bowl. This is the eighth straight year the Maryland Science Bowl will be held at the College’s Rockville Campus, located at 51 Mannakee Street.

The competing students will be joined by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett and WGL President and Chief Operating Officer Adrian Chapman, who will make opening remarks. The keynote address will be delivered by a NASA scientist, Dr. Paul Mahaffy. In addition, more than 125 volunteers from over two dozen area technology companies, federal agencies, schools and community organizations will serve as timekeepers, moderators, and judges.

“Preparing our students to excel in the sciences is vital to the economy of Montgomery County and the state of Maryland,” Mr. Leggett said. “Our county is home to a large number of employers in bioscience, technology, medical research and other fields that require skilled professionals to keep our economy moving forward. I am proud that Montgomery College—an institution on the leading edge of preparing the next generation of engineers and scientists—hosts the Maryland Science Bowl, which helps motivate students to dream of building futures in these industry sectors.”

Forty-eight teams – hailing from 26 high schools in 11 Maryland counties – have registered to compete, making it the event’s highest participation ever at the College.

Sponsors for the 2014 Maryland Science Bowl include WGL, parent company of Washington Gas; QIAGEN, a biotechnology company with operations in Germantown, MD; and the Montgomery College Office of Academic Initiatives and MC/MCPS Partnerships.

“Montgomery College is pleased to host the 2014 Maryland Science Bowl, which gives more than 200 students the opportunity to compete for the honor of representing all Maryland high schools at the National Science Bowl in April,” said Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard, president, Montgomery College. “The support of the County Executive and more than 100 volunteers from the College, local industry, government agencies and academia makes this event possible for the state’s budding scientists. This community effort promotes student interest in pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics studies in college in preparation for rewarding careers.”

During this quiz-style academic contest, teams compete by answering questions focused on biology, chemistry, earth and space science, energy, mathematics, and physics. After round-robin matches and a final match between the top two teams, the winners advance to the National Science Bowl sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, which will be held April 24-28 in Washington, D.C. In 2013, a team from Rockville High School was the Maryland Regional Champions and represented Maryland at the national contest.

After lunch, Dr. Mahaffy, a NASA scientist involved in analyzing data from planetary explorations will speak to the student competitors. Dr. Mahaffy is the Chief of the Planetary Environments Laboratory in the Solar System Exploration Division at NASA Goddard. Dr. Mahaffy is the Principal Investigator (PI) on the Sample Analysis at Mars Instrument Suite on the Curiosity Rover currently operating on the surface of Mars. One of his past career highlights was studying the atmosphere of Jupiter using data from a mass spectrometer on the Galileo Probe as it parachuted down into that atmosphere and sent its data back to Earth.

In addition, Montgomery College science and engineering clubs will offer demonstrations and activities for students whose teams are no longer competing during the afternoon matches.

Volunteers from more than two dozen area companies, federal agencies, schools, and community organizations have signed up to serve as timekeepers, moderators, and judges. Montgomery College is grateful to these thoughtful individuals from Aclairo Pharmaceutical Development Group, Inc., The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center, Berkeley Research Associates, BioReliance Corp, Clark Construction Group LLC, IBM Corporation, Johns Hopkins University and its Applied Physics Laboratory, Leidos, Lockheed Martin, Medstar Washington Hospital Center, MITRE, NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center, Naval Surface Warfare Center/Carderock Division, Neelsville Middle School, Owen Software, Pepco Holdings Inc., QIAGEN, Shady Grove Middle School, SOME (So Others May Eat), Tridea Works LLC, United States Army Research Laboratory, U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science; the U.S. Navy, United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission, University of Maryland College Park, Upward Bound Math and Science, Verizon Terremark, and Washington Gas, along with Montgomery College students, staff and faculty.

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