AP NEWS

Team from Greenwich High team earns another trip to national Science Bowl

March 6, 2019

GREENWICH — Five Greenwich High School students won the Northeast Regional Science Bowl tournament over the weekend by a landslide, and will now be representing the state of Connecticut at the national tournament for the second year in a row.

“I am beyond proud of the team’s integrity, honesty, game-play and collaboration,” math teacher and coach Maria Buono said.

The high school took two teams, with a total of 11 students, to a regional tournament of Science Bowl that was hosted at University of Connecticut in Storrs last Sunday, and the A Team will advance to nationals.

The U.S. Department of Energy puts on the tournament, which is a science-themed game of jeopardy in which teams of four race to answer short-answer or multiple-choice questions on math, biology, chemistry, physics, space and energy.

“I am humbled to be their coach,” said Buono, who has coached Science Bowl for nine years. “It’s an honor.”

Four of the five A-Team students who will be returning to the nation’s capital for the Science Bowl tournament: Rahul Subramaniam, Derrick Xiong, Nicholas Liu and Phoebe Hartch. Collin Marino takes the place of Henry Shi, who graduated last year.

“They’re really top-notch,” Buono said. “They’re a seasoned team.”

Greenwich High’s team had ranked in regionals for many years, but last year was the first time a team from Fairfield County represented the state at the national tournament, she said.

“It was a nail-biting, buzzer-beater, down to the last-second win at Regionals that earned them a spot at Nationals,” Buono said of the 2018 victory.

This year, Buono said they “slammed” the teams from other high schools.

In the morning, the students beat Loomis Chaffee, 86 to 64; Fairfield Ludlowe, 162 to 18; Joel Barlow, 144 to 44; Cheshire, 244 to 4; and Amity Regional, 114 to 82. In the afternoon, they beat Watkinson, 160 to 8; Loomis Chaffee, 140 to 80; Cheshire, 122 to 54; Newtown, 116 to 62; and Pomperaug, 136 to 24.

Such a sweep is a good omen for the team, who tied for 10th overall at the national tournament, she said.

Although the B team, composed of Hiba Hussain, Raina Jain, Jimmy Papas, Thomas Fenaroli, Matt Meyers and Nyle Garg, will not be advancing, the students won five of 10 possible rounds, Buono said.

“That was great practice for them,” she said. “They’re young, new, they had a lot of fun.”

Buono has turned her sights to the Greenwich middle schools, which currently do not have teams. She and her students often discuss forming teams in those schools that could compete in the middle-school competition.

Some of her students got their start competing independently in the middle-school Science Bowl, but a team would help generate interest in STEM subjects early, Buono said.

“The team talks about this,” she said. “This is the time.”

jo.kroeker@hearstmediact.com