This year’s Science Knowledge Bowl (SKB) will be held Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014. In recent years SKB has attracted as many as 120 teams from rural, suburba, and urban area high schools with over 550 high school students competing.
The format for the Science Knowledge Bowl follows that of the “College Bowl” on television. Two teams go head to head answering science questions drawn from Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth/Space Science, Mathematics, and Computer Science. Questions are of the fill-in-the-blank variety although a few multiple-choice and figure questions are possible. Each team member is supplied with an electronic buzzer so that the first to answer can be determined electronically. After buzzing, the individual has 5 (five) seconds in which to answer the question. If his/her answer is correct, then the moderator awards 1 point. If he/she is incorrect, then the question is reread from the beginning and the other team has 10 seconds (with discussion allowed) to answer the question. Scoring is based on the number of correct answers divided by the total number of questions asked. Up to 65 questions may be asked per round.
Teams will consist of 5 members all of whom will compete during each round. Each match consists of two, eight minute halves, with an intermission of up to four minutes. Challenges are allowed, and after recording they are sent to a panel of judges. If the challenge is successful, the judges award the appropriate points after the match.
Teams are divided into two divisions with each team guaranteed competition in five matches. Each participant receives a certificate noting his/her participation in this academic competition. In order to balance the two divisions, we ask each coach to rank his/her teams based on estimated strength. The top four teams from each division will advance to the Rockhurst semifinals and divisional finals. The winner of each division also competes in the day’s grand championship match. The top eight teams in each “division” will receive plaques and a trophy will be awarded to winner of the grand championship match.
The top two winners from each division will also be awarded an all expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete in the National Department of Energy (DOE) Science Bowl. Winning teams to the national competition will include four students, one alternate and one adult.
Each coach may have a letter sent on his/her behalf to any administrator that he/she designates. These letters indicate the extraordinary effort involved in bringing a science team to Rockhurst to compete in the Science Knowledge Bowl.