Three Wood County high school teams to compete at West Virginia Science Bowl

Photo by Michael Erb Parkersburg High School Science Bowl team members Aaron Hardy, left, Matthew Lebo, center left, team captain Marilyn Santo, center, Marion Santo, center right, and Kowsik Siva, right, will compete this weekend in Morgantown at the West Virginia Science Bowl for a chance to move on to national finals in Washington, D.C.

PARKERSBURG — Three high school teams from Wood County will compete this weekend at the West Virginia Science Bowl in Morgantown.

Williamstown High School, Parkersburg High School and Parkersburg Catholic High School will field teams in the event Saturday, competing with other West Virginia schools for a chance to represent the state at the National Science Bowl Finals April 25-29 in Washington, D.C.

The National Science Bowl is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and features a tournament-style academic competition challenging students in science and mathematics, according to the National Science Bowl Committee’s website. Four students from each team face off in a timed question-and-answer format.

PHS senior and team captain Marilyn Santo, who has participated in science bowl since her freshman year, said she was thrilled to see her and her teammates make it to the state competition.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “It’s been a journey for all of us.”

Photo by Michael Erb Juniors Marie Discini, left, Ben Vierheller, center, and Aidan Roberts, right, are members of the Parkersburg Catholic High School Science Bowl team and will compete this weekend in the state championship in Morgantown. Not pictured is team captain Andrew Shaw.

Her sister Marion Santo, also a senior, said the state tournament gives the students a chance to compete with some of the best teams in the state.

“The goal for us is to do our very best,” she said.

Williamstown High School Science Bowl team coach Jon Wheeler said his team practices every week, dividing into teams to square off with random questions. The goal, he said, is to broaden the knowledge base of all of the students while making use of the particular strengths of individual students.

“The team has a nice balance,” he said. “We have a couple of kids who are absolute math whizzes. Others know particular areas of science really well.

“There’s no real way to prepare for exactly what questions will be asked,” Wheeler said. “You just try to grow that knowledge base as much as you can.”

Photo Provided Williamstown High School Science Bowl team members Skyler Blatt, left, Josh Chambers, center left, team captain Amber Allen, center, Jacob Huggins, center right, and Cole Hodges, right, will represent one of three Wood County teams Saturday at the West Virginia Science Bowl in Morgantown.

Parkersburg Catholic junior Ben Vierheller said the team is thrilled to compete at the state level.

“We’re really excited to be able to participate with some of the best teams in the state and see how we stack up,” he said.

Catholic junior Aidan Roberts said the toughest part of the competition will be time.

“You have to be able to recall facts and answer very quickly to get through and have a chance of winning,” he said.