INSTITUTE, W.Va. – High school students from around the Kanawha Valley were tested on their science and math knowledge Friday during the Dr. James E. Brimhall Science Bowl. They had to answer some challenging questions like these.

What is the most common term used in genetics to describe the observable physical characteristics of an organism caused by the expression of a gene or set of genes?

What is the proper name of the star that is most commonly noted to have coordinates closest to the north celestial pole?

If you don’t know the answers, don’t feel bad. Assistant Professor of Chemistry at West Virginia State University, Michael Fultz, who coordinated the RESA III regional competition, said these high school students have spent a lot of time learning the answers.

“Many of these students are incredibly motivated,” stressed Fultz. “It’s stay after school, practice, spend extra time in the classroom, extra time in the books on a year-round basis, practicing for these competitions.”

Seventeen teams from nine schools in Boone, Clay, Kanawha and Putnam counties competed for one of the top three spots. Those teams will go on to the state science bowl and hopefully the national competition.

Ethan Reed is a member of the Capital High School Science Bowl team. He said you have to know a little bit about a lot.

“Physics, chemistry, math, earth science and biology.”

Reed said a lot of what he knows about those subjects came from the classroom.

“A lot of it is from just paying attention in class and remembering things from what you’ve learned from a long time ago and being able to apply it,” explained Reed.

But Fultz stressed the event is not just about winning. It’s also a chance to focus on the student’s future. They offer tours of the campus, financial aid seminars and research facilities.

“We want them to pursue those STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), that the state of West Virginia needs to attract more and bigger industries,” according to Fultz.

The state Science Bowl will be held this spring. And if you’re curious about the answers to those questions, they’re phenotype and the North Star.

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  • Gilbert Gnarley

    Amazing what can happen when students actually want an education.

  • Joe

    Congratulations to these fine students with bright futures ahead of them.

  • SAC

    I think the proper name is Polaris. The common name is North Star. It is part of the Ursa Minor constellation, commonly known as the "Little Dipper" or "Little Bear".