SPOKANE, Wash. — High school students across Spokane are coming down to the wire in their last days of preparation for the Department of Energy’s Spokane Science Bowl on Saturday, March 8, on the Washington State University Spokane campus.

Opening ceremonies for the fast-paced, head-to-head contest will begin at 8 a.m. in the Phase I Classroom Building, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd., and will test students’ knowledge of science, math, engineering and more as they vie for a trip to Washington, D.C., and the national competition.

The number of teams has doubled this year, going from 12 in the competition’s first year (2002) to 24 this year. Schools sending teams include Rogers High School, with two teams; Ferris, four; North Central, four; Cascade, two; Deer Park, two; Pullman, two; St. George’s, two; University, one; Cheney, two; and Shadle Park, three.

Teachers who coach the science teams do so after hours, with their time supported by the supplemental levies passed by voters in their school districts. Cinda Parton, Ferris High School, is one coach who puts in a lot of time with four teams taking part this year. Her students are “a great group of enthusiastic kids” who are looking forward to the competition, she said.

Primary sponsors for the event are the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection and its Richland Operations Office. WSU, a lead sponsor of the event with WSU Spokane, is offering $1,000 scholarships to members of the winning team for use at WSU campuses. Avista Corp. will provide scholarships to the all-star students who answer the most individual questions, and the Spokane Teachers Credit Union will sponsor the traveling trophy.

Other sponsors include Itron; Spokane Intercollegiate Research and Technology Institute; the Area Health Education Center at WSU Spokane; Columbia Hearing Centers Division of Spokane Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic, P.S.; Inland Northwest Technology Education Center; and Logan Industries.

More than 40 community members volunteer as event judges, timekeepers and scorers. Individuals who want to volunteer for this year’s event or future Science Bowls can contact Julie Wallman, INTEC, at (509) 444-6832 or juliew@intec-center.org.

For more information, see the Feb. 12 news release online at wsunews.wsu.edu/detail.asp?StoryID=3617.

NOTE TO EDITORS: Cinda Parton and her students are available for advance interviews if you’d like to cover the work students do to prepare for the competition. Contact Cinda directly at (509) 354-6123 (before 8 a.m. or after 2:30 p.m.) or cindap@spokaneschools.org to arrange an interview. Media are invited to cover any and all of the event.

Date: Saturday, March 8.
Location: Phase I Classroom Building, 668 N. Riverpoint Blvd. (just east of Trent and Division)
8 a.m.: Opening ceremonies
8:30 a.m.4 p.m.: Double-elimination competition
4 p.m.: Final round of competition in the Phase I Auditorium, followed by scholarship recognition and trophy presentation

Contact Barb Chamberlain, WSU Spokane, (509) 869-2949 (cell), to confirm time for the final round.