Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

January 29, 2014

Science team advances to national bowl

By Dustin Luca

---- — A team of local science-minded students will head to Washington, D.C. this spring for the National Science Bowl after taking top honors in a regional competition last weekend.

The Greater Boston Science and Math team based out of Andover took first in the regional bowl held at Nashua Community College in Nashua, N.H. on Saturday, Jan. 25.

The win sends them on an all-expenses-paid trip to the nationals in April, according to Dirk Fillpot, spokesman for the Department of Education.

The team consists of Andover youths Abhijeet Sambangi, the team captain from Doherty Middle School; and Pike School students eighth-grader Michael Ren and seventh-grader Alice Ren. Rounding out the team are Snigdha Allaparti, an eighth-grader at Worcester Academy in Westborough, and Justin Chang, a seventh-grader at Masconomet Middle and High School in Boxford.

The team, which came together because they were all friends, competed against 13 teams from Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont to move on to the top tier of the competition, according to Sambangi’s father, Ravi.

“They’re working very hard,” Ravi Sambangi said. “On average, they’re studying around 10 to 14 hours on the weekend.”

The Greater Boston Science and Math team will now compete against nine other regional winners from New York to Hawaii at the nationals, slated for April 24 to 28, with a chance to win $1,000 for their schools’ science departments.

The National Science Bowl brings together thousands of middle and high school students from across the country to compete in a fast-paced, question-and-answer format where they solve technical problems and answer questions on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, Earth and space science, physics and math, according to a press release.

“The National Science Bowl challenges students to excel and heightens their interest in fields vital to America’s continued scientific advancement,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz said in a release.