A team from Alachua County Public Schools has earned a spot in the National Science Bowl (NSB) for the eighth year.
The Buchholz High School team, made up of Andrey Nikitin, Nicholas Dang, Ahan Mishra, Emmanuel Zheng, and Michael Wei, took first place in the North Central Florida Regional Science Bowl, which covers 52 of the state’s 67 school districts.
The team won an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C., in April for the NSB sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The NSB is one of the nation’s largest science competitions, featuring over 14,000 student competitors each year.
Another Buchholz team took second place in the regional competition. The team members included Terrence Han, Sam Cohen, Abhinav Pothuri, James Jiang, and Rishi Gadikota.
Both teams are coached by science teachers Marc Moody and Gabriella Bottorff.
Teams from Buchholz have won six of the last eight regional science bowls.
Last year’s Buchholz team broke into the top eight nationally for the first time. Moody thinks this year’s group will do even better, especially having four starters returning from last year.
“I have watched them go toe to toe with the best teams in the nation, and I’m confident that on any given day, they could beat anyone,” he said in a press release. “This year’s group is dedicated, bright, and gritty, and they have been working towards this chance for years. It has been such a privilege to take this journey with them.”