Clovis Christian students make ready for science bowl

CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Clovis Christian students Kevin Naceanceno, from left to right, Kebly Bell, Colby Whitten and Nicholas Cody practice for the Science Bowl Thursday during lunch at the school.

By Liliana Castillo: CNJ staff writer

During lunch at Clovis Christian School, nine high school students eat lunch and attempt to quickly answer science and math questions at the same time.

Those students are using all the time they have to practice for the state level of the U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl in Albuquerque Saturday.

The bowl began in 1991 and is an academic competition that tests student knowledge in all areas of science. High school and middle school students are quizzed in a fast paced question-and-answer format similar to Jeopardy!

Clovis Christian science teacher Linda Bolyard said she has taken teams to the competition for past six years.

The two four-person teams and an alternate will head to Albuquerque Friday.

Bolyard said the two teams that are entering in the competition are comprised of students with different strengths. Grades nine through 12 are represented on each team, she said.

“The freshman haven’t had physics yet so the seniors know that. And the sophomores are great at biology because that’s what they’re doing now,” she said.

Bolyard said the competition is good for the students because it shows them that they can compete with other larger schools.

“They know they are getting science knowledge they can use,” Bolyard said.

Senior Nicholas Cody has participated in the Science Bowl for the past three years.

“It provides a good challenge,” he said. “It’s almost like a sport, but it’s based on knowledge instead of physical ability.”

Cody said he’s not the perfect contestant, but his experience from the past three competitions will helped him.

“Every year, I get less afraid to push the buzzer,” Cody said.

Junior Kelby Bell will be participating in the contest for the first year.

“It’s a good opportunity,” Bell said, admitting that she’s nervous.

Bell said she hopes to help field the math questions.

“I’m really good at it,” Bell said.