Students from around Alachua County are traveling this week to represent the school district in STEM competitions at the 2023 National Science Bowl and the 2023 VEX World Robotics Competition.
The Buchholz High School team qualified for Nationals in February. The team qualified for the eighth year in a row and won an all-expenses paid trip to the competition.
The team will be competing from April 27-May 1. The National Science Bowl is held by the National Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington D.C. and is one of the largest science competitions in the country.
“Instead of going home and play video games, they [the students] are viciously and aggressively pursuing their passion...You can't force kids to do this, they have to love it,” said Buchholz coach Marc Moody in a phone interview.
Moody said that in preparation, the team will study a list of textbooks, often at the college level. The competition tests students in a fast, question-and-answer setting. According to the DOE’s website, the students are tested on a wide range of science topics including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy, and math. According to Moody, the team is comprised of students who are exceptional in one area that the Science Bowl will test.
Another STEM competition that began on Monday is the 2023 VEX World Robotics Competition in Dallas, Texas. The competition will end on May 4. Teams from Westwood Middle School, Lincoln Middle School, Oak View Middle School, Wiles Elementary, and Glenview Elementary all qualified in February.
Teams from Alachua County vied for a spot at the Central/North Florida VEX Regional Championship at the regional championship in February.