Santa Monica High School students have won two competitions – the National Science Bowl sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and the state SAGE title of Students for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship.
The National Science Bowl is a nationwide academic competition that tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science. Each of the 67 high schools in the competition enters a team of four students, one alternate and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach. The Samohi team members included Dimitry Petrenko, 18; Alexandre Boulgakov, 16; Marino Di Franco, 16; Ian Fels Scheffler, 17; and their coach, Ingo Gaida.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement, saying, “On behalf of all Californians, I congratulate the students from Santa Monica High School for winning this year’s National Science Bowl competition. Their accomplishment highlights our state’s commitment to science education, and I commend these students for their hard work and dedication.”
The Samohi SAGE team’s state title represents the third consecutive year that the school has taken this title. During the competition, the students had 15 minutes to make a multimedia presentation and five minutes of Q&A to convince the 70 judges that Santa Monica met 10 criteria better than any of the other 15 schools present.
Students for the Advancement of Entrepreneurship (SAGE) is an international nonprofit organization to advance youth business and social entrepreneurship in an ethical and socially responsible manner. Samohi students Alberto DePablo, Jessie Chan, Tenzin Chodak, Sonam Chodak, Jasmine McClain, Monica Choo, and Jane Beck worked all year on extensive and collaborative projects, including business ventures, environmental initiatives, and political engagement.
The National Science Bowl team won a trip to the International Youth Science Forum in London, in addition to $1,000 for their school’s science department. Samohi clinched the title by answering a mathematics question.
More than 3,000 students competed in the National Science Bowl this year. Second place was won by Mira Loma High School from Sacramento, CA; third place was awarded to Thomas Jefferson High School for Science & Technology from Alexandria, VA.