Redmond High students win National Science Bowl regionals, secure spot in finals

Five Redmond High students with a love of science and learning will take their skills to a higher level this April in the nation’s capital.

The Mustangs won their regional competition for the 2018 National Science Bowl (NSB) last weekend at Columbia Basin College in Pasco and will compete in the NSB National Finals on April 26-30 in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) sponsors the premiere event.

Redmond High’s team consisted of freshmen and sophomores Arpit Ranasaria, Mukil Shanmugam, Raghav Narula, Maneesh Rajagopal and team captain Sathvik Kakauru. The team is coached by Megan Lawson, mathematics and computer science instructor.

“It took a lot of preparation beforehand. We kept our cool when answering questions and made sure we didn’t lose our heads,” Kakauru said.

Redmond squared off against teams from Interlake, Lakeside, Eastlake, Tesla STEM and another Redmond squad at regionals. The boys defeated Lakeside to earn the title cup.

During the fast-paced quiz and problem-solving tournament, students tested their knowledge on biology, chemistry, physics, math, energy and Earth and space sciences. Kakauru said they had to rack their brains to notch the correct answers, some of which took the team working together to come to a conclusion.

Lawson said the team enjoyed competing at regionals and is looking forward to a strong showing at nationals.

“They regularly read textbooks and quiz each other on science, taking every opportunity they have to learn more,” Lawson said. “Another aspect that makes the team so strong is that they really do want to work as a team. Every win is a team win, with all five members contributing in astounding ways. I am incredibly proud of the work these young men have done and fully expect them to make astounding changes to the fields that they study.”

This will be sophomore Kakauru’s second time competing at nationals, where his team earned fifth place as eighth-graders at Evergreen Middle School.

The Redmond captain said participating in Science Bowl pushes him to read more about science and provides an incentive to accumulate honors for all the hard work the team has put forth at practices and competitions.

“It’s always fun getting to practice and work together,” he said.

The other Redmond High team, also coached by Lawson, is Sethu Thirumal, Arnav Narula (who took third place in most points earned over the competition), Samarjit Kaushik, Abaan Ahmed and Vanya Dimri.

Coached by Melissa Wrenchey, the Tesla STEM teams are Vedantha Venkatapathy, Lawrence Atienza, Kevin Zhang, Shrey Shrivastava and Sashu Shankar, and Deepayan Sanyal, Kinner Parikh, Daniel Pyon and Sarthak Gupta.

A series of 113 regional middle school and high school tournaments were held across the country from January through March. The top 16 high school teams and the top 16 middle school teams in the national finals will win $1,000 for their schools’ science departments. Prizes for the top two high school teams for the 2018 NSB will be announced at a later date.

“The National Science Bowl continues to be one of the premier academic competitions across the country and prepares America’s students for future successes in some of the world’s fastest growing fields in science, technology and engineering,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “I am proud to oversee a department that provides such a unique and empowering opportunity for our nation’s students, and I am honored to congratulate Redmond High School in advancing to the national finals, where they will continue to showcase their talents as the top minds in math and science.”