(L-R) Senior Patricia Thompson of Owensboro, Junior Matthew Broadbent of Cerulean, Senior Caleb Stickney of Irvine, Senior Karthik Boyareddygari of Bowling Green, Junior Ethan Brown of Paducah, and Coach Cheryl Kirby-Stokes.
A team from The Gatton Academy won the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) West Kentucky Regional Science Bowl on February 17. The DOE National Science Bowl® (NSB) challenges students’ knowledge in all areas of science, including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy, and math.
With the win, the team will now travel to the DOE’s National Science Bowl (NSB), which is held in Washington, DC this week from April 27 - May 1. The DOE provides the all-expense paid trip for the winning team to represent west Kentucky in the high school competition.
The Gatton Academy’s winning team consists of seniors Karthik Boyareddygari (Bowling Green High School), Caleb Stickney (Estill County High School), Tricia Thompson (Owensboro Catholic High School), Matthew Broadbent (Heritage Christian Academy) and junior Ethan Brown (McCracken County High School). The Gatton Academy had a second team in the competition, which finished the tournament in third place. This team, whose only loss came to the Gatton team that won, consists of seniors Sherafghan Khan (University Heights Academy) and Ayush Prasad (Russell High School) and juniors Carly Taylor (Campbell County High School), Benjamin Kash (Greenwood High School), and Phillip Wilkerson (Russellville High School).
“I am amazed at the accomplishments of both Gatton Academy Science Bowl teams this year at the DOE Regional Science Bowl,” said junior Ethan Brown. “Both teams studied hard all year long and have made tremendous progress in their abilities to work as a team. Getting to take home two trophies once again is a huge honor, and we are looking forward to getting to participate at the national level!”
More than a dozen high school teams competed in the day-long tournament. Other high schools competing were Calloway County High School (which earned second place), Ballard Memorial High School, Cairo Junior/Senior High School (IL), Crittenden County High School, Marshall County High School, Massac County (IL), McCracken County High School, Paducah Tilghman High School, Union County High School, and West Kentucky Home Schools. Some schools had more than one team competing.
“The students started practicing even before the school year began,” said Academic Opportunities Coordinator Cheryl Kirby-Stokes. “Gatton is incredibly proud of this wholly student-led initiative, and we look forward to representing the Academy and Kentucky in Washington, D.C.”
During the national competition, The Gatton Academy will compete in the same fast-paced, question-and-answer format that was used in the regional competition. The students will not be answering questions during the entire trip, as they will also have the opportunity to visit national monuments and museums.
“The Science Bowl is the perfect fit for our students who have been curating science knowledge for years,” states Director of The Gatton Academy Dr. Lynette Breedlove. “I am proud of their leadership, persistence, and commitment to developing their teamwork. They will be positive representations of our school and our state at the national competition.”
Over 9,000 high school students nationwide compete at the regional level nationwide. Only 70 teams, or about 350 high school students in total, will proceed to Washington, DC for the NSB.
About The Gatton Academy: Established in 2007, The Gatton Academy is Kentucky’s first residential high school for gifted and talented junior and seniors. The Gatton Academy’s students enroll as juniors and are full-time WKU students pursuing their interests in advanced science, technology, engineering and mathematical careers. The Gatton Academy has been named to the Washington Post’s list of top-performing schools with elite students for seven consecutive years and was named the number one public high school in the United States by The Daily Beast for three consecutive years – 2012, 2013 and 2014.