WASHINGTON COUNTY, Va. - You may have heard about STEM education, learning about science, technology, engineering and math.
It's a nationwide push to get students learning more about each. It may sound a little dry but there are ways to perk the learning experience up a bit, like a science bowl competition.
It's been all about science here lately a Wallace Middle School; they've just concluded their science fair. The blue ribbon goes to a practical experiment that we all could learn from about light bulbs. "I was comparing the efficiency to see how much heat it gave off to see if it effects your heating and cooling costs," says winner Brennon Kinbler, an eighth grader.
They're getting a room ready for science bowl competition practice. The science bowl is a regional competition by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science. It's part game show and learning. "We just have these packets and we have the buzzers, and our teacher will ask us questions. We'll buzz in and we'll keep score and everything," Kaitlyn Mullins, one of the competitors, said.
But this will be the last practice before leaving for Newport News, Virginia for the statewide science bowl, plus some extras. "We're also going to be meeting people who work at the Jefferson Labs, like the scientists and stuff. That's going to be cool," says competitor Branson Street.
"I think its exciting because not a lot of people from down in this area get to go. So most people are from up north," added Megan Esterly, another competitor.
Each one had their reasons for joining the team, with learning being the ultimate goal. "I just saw everyone else signing up and it seemed pretty fun. I thought it might help improve my science grade, doing more studying," Sydney Eades says.
Some of the material covered is a little more advanced than they're used to. "I told them that they probably will see some material later on whenever they get to high school and they're excited about it. It's like they're getting ahead of the game," team coach and math teacher Jessica France said.
"I'm really glad that's what it's about raising that bar higher," adds Valerie Leonard, another coach and science teacher.
There will be one winner of the science bowl, but these students are already on a winning track.