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News Release: Texas Middle School Wins National Science Competition

June 27, 2003

Golden, CO. — Four middle school students from College Station Middle School in College Station, Texas, showed their mastery of science today, winning the National Middle School Science Bowl by a landslide (geologic phenomena). Winners in the model solar car competition also were announced today. Andrew Jackson Middle School from Titusville, Fla., will take home the trophy for the fastest car powered by sunlight.

Each of the winners topped 15 other competing teams in this battle to be the best and brightest among the country's young science students.

During a daylong round robin competition, the College Station team of Brian Liu, Alex Liu, Sean Lau and Becca Yasskin successfully answered tough questions about life sciences, physical science, earth sciences and math that could stump most of the U.S. adult population. These whiz kids beat out the team from River Forest, Ill., in the final round of competition. That team from Roosevelt Middle School earned second place, while Albuquerque Academy of Albuquerque, N.M., came in third. All of the competitors were winners of earlier regional competitions. In addition, organizers gave out a civility award to the team that showed the most positive spirit. A complete list of winners and participants follows.

Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and General Motors (GM), the National Middle School Science Bowl challenges today's sixth grade to eighth grade students to learn about math and science, and encourages them to choose careers in these fields.

"The sixth through eighth grades are the formative years for young minds to decide on a career in science," said Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, director of DOE's Office of Science. "It is exciting to see these future scientists in the making. The Department of Energy is proud to be associated with the National Middle School Science Bowl as part of our long-term commitment to the support of scientists and their research at our nation's colleges, universities and national laboratories."

"It's great to see so many students excited about math and science," said Beth Lowery, GM vice president of environment and energy. "These students are the future and it's important to educate them and encourage their interest in ever-growing field of science and technology."

The National Middle School Science Bowl competition, hosted by the DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory at the Colorado School of Mines, featured two competitions - the academic session and a model solar car competition that challenged students to design, build and race model solar cars.

"Not only does the Science Bowl seek to expand young minds, but the additional element of a hands-on competition challenges them to apply the science and engineering principals they learn in the classroom," Dr. Orbach said.

First, second and third place winners of both the solar car and the scientific knowledge competitions receive team trophies for their schools. In addition, each student on each winning team will get a $100, $75 or $50 gift certificate from For more information and photos of the National Middle School Science Bowl, go to

Following on the success of the National Science Bowl for senior high school students begun in 1991, DOE's 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

DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the nation and ensures U.S. world leadership across a broad range of scientific disciplines. The Office of Science also manages 10 world-class national laboratories with unmatched capabilities for solving complex interdisciplinary problems, and it builds and operates some of the nation's most advanced R & D user facilities, located at national laboratories and universities. These facilities are used by more than 17,000 researchers from universities, other government agencies and private industry each year.

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 Winners

Academic Competition:
First Place - College Station Middle School
Second Place - Roosevelt Middle School
Third Place - Albuquerque Academy

Solar Car Competition:
First Place - Andrew Jackson Middle School
Second Place - Inza R. Wood Middle School
Third Place - Bell/North Middle Schools

Civility Award:
St. Peter's Lutheran School

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