News Release: Ronald McNair Magnet School Wins National Science Competition

June 19, 2004

Golden, Colo. — Four middle school students from Ronald McNair Magnet School in Cocoa, Fla., showed their mastery of science today, winning the National Middle School Science Bowl by a landslide (geologic phenomena). Winners in the stock and open class model hydrogen fuel cell car competitions also were announced today. Doolen Middle School from Tucson, Ariz., will take home the trophy for the fastest model car in the stock class competition and Jenkins Middle School from Colorado Springs, Colo., will take home the trophy for the fastest model fuel cell car in the open class competition.

Each of the winners topped 19 other competing teams in this battle to be the best and brightest among the country's young science students.

During a daylong round robin and double elimination competition, the McNair team of Kyla Davis Horn, Megan Rein, Antony Stabile and Stephen Sisley 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 Lincoln, Neb., in the final round of competition. That team from Lux Middle School earned second place, while Los Alamos Middle School of Los Alamos, N.M., came in third. In addition, organizers gave out a civility award to Cincinnati Alliance of Cincinnati, Ohio, for showing the most positive spirit. All of the competitors were winners of earlier regional competitions. 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 sixth grade to eighth grade students to learn about math and science and encourages them to choose careers in these fields.

"I congratulate everyone who participated in this year's National Middle School Science Bowl competition," said Dr. Raymond L. Orbach, Director of DOE's Office of Science. "The Department of Energy's national science laboratories conduct the most sophisticated research and development in the world. We have an important responsibility to develop today the scientific and engineering workforce America will need to remain at the forefront of scientific advances, technological innovation and economic competitiveness tomorrow. That is why we are so pleased to be responsible for the National Middle School Science Bowl, serving to encourage young people in the formative years of their sixth through eighth grades to enhance their science and mathematics skills—and, we hope, to become our future leaders in these critical areas."

"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 hydrogen fuel cell car competition that challenged students to design, build and race model hydrogen-powered cars.

First, second and third place winners of the model hydrogen fuel cell car competitions receive a $100, $75 or $50 gift certificate from and the scientific knowledge competition teams receive a $150, $125 or $100 gift certificate from Visit the National Middle School Science Bowl Web site for more information and photos of the National Middle School Science Bowl.

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. 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 on the department's Web site.

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 11 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 about 325,000 people globally. 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 192 countries. In 2003, GM sold nearly 8.6 million cars and trucks, about 15 percent of the global vehicle market. GM's global headquarters are at the GM Renaissance Center in Detroit. More information on GM, its advanced technologies and educational initiatives can be found on the company's corporate Web site. GM's corporate responsibility Web site, contains additional information about GM's environmental education initiatives.

2004 National Middle School Science Bowl Winners

Academic Competition:

First Place - Ronald McNair Magnet School
Second Place - Lux Middle School
Third Place - Los Alamos Academy

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Race - Stock:

First Place - Doolen Middle School
Second Place - Roosevelt Middle School
Third Place - Brandon Middle School

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Race - Open:

First Place - Jenkins Middle School
Second Place - Lux Middle School
Third Place - R.D. & Euzelle P. Smith Middle School

Civility Award:

Cincinnati Alliance

2004 National Middle School Science Bowl Participating Teams and Sponsoring Sites

*NOBCChE: National Organization of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers

—Sarah Barba