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News Release: Middle School Science Bowl 2003

June 18, 2003

Golden, CO. — Middle School Science Students to Face Off in Battle of Brains Teams from around the nation to test their science skills and knowledge

Sixteen teams of some of the brightest sixth through eighth grade students from around the United States will test their mental agility in the National Middle School Science Bowl June 25-28.

The teams, all winners of regional contests, will build and race solar-powered model cars and compete in rapid-fire question and answer sessions to test their knowledge of science and math.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM) are the Science Bowl's chief sponsors. The event is being hosted by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colo.

"Students participating in the National Middle School Science Bowl are among the great minds that will make our future brighter and full of wonderful possibilities," said Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, director of the DOE Office of Science. "I hope this event plays a positive role in attracting many young people to a career in the exciting world of science."

Elizabeth A. Lowery, GM vice president of environment and energy, said, "At GM, we believe that it is important to encourage students' interest in math and science. We are committed to offering opportunities that will educate our future engineers and scientists about advanced technology."

Each of the teams will be given a solar cell, electric motor and other components to construct a model solar-powered car, which they will race on Thursday, June 26 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Building and racing the cars challenges the students' engineering and design skills. The race at the School of Mines' Student Center Intramural parking lot will be open to the public.

The next day, Friday, June 27, the students face off in a fast-paced question and answer contest that tests their knowledge of earth science, physical science, life science, math, and general science. The round robin academic competition starts at 8:30 a.m. at Alderson Hall and concludes with an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. in the Student Center.

Prizes will be given to the first, second and third place winners in both the academic and the model solar car competitions.

The schools selected in regional contests for this year's Middle School Science Bowl are from Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Washington. (Editors note: A complete list of participating schools follows.)

Following on the success of the National Science Bowl for senior high school students begun in 1991, the DOE Office of Science began the National Middle School Science Bowl in 2002 to encourage middle school students also to excel in math and science and to pursue careers in these fields. The department supports math and science education to help provide a technically trained and diverse workforce for the agency and the nation. More information about its programs is available at

General Motors Corp. (NYSE: GM), the world's largest vehicle manufacturer, employs 342,000 people globally in its core automotive business and subsidiaries. Founded in 1908, GM has been the global automotive sales leader since 1931. GM today has manufacturing operations in 32 countries and its vehicles are sold in more than 190 countries. In 2002, GM sold more than 8.6 million cars and trucks, nearly 15 percent of the global vehicle market. GM's global headquarters is at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM and its products can be found on the company's consumer Web site at GM's corporate responsibility Web site,, contains additional information about GM's environmental education initiatives.

2003 National Middle School Science Bowl
Participating Teams and Sponsoring Sites

*National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers

—Sarah Barba