JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Students at one South Mississippi school are celebrating a huge accomplishment.
The science bowl team at East Central Middle School in Hurley recently took home first place in regional competition. Now, they’re heading to nationals to compete against some of the best science bowl teams in the country.
The students really know their stuff when it comes to science and math, and they’re excited to prove it on a national level.
“I think I can speak for everyone on the team, and say we’re getting ready, and we’re just so happy to have won, and to have this opportunity,” said science bowl team member Jolee Guy.
They’ve already proven they’re the best of the best in the state. The students competed in three teams in the regional tournament earlier this month.
Teams B and C placed 8th and 11th, respectively.
Team A placed first, bringing home the hardware, after winning a nail-biting final game.
“I was kind of nervous at the end because the other team was close, but we did win,” said team member Jason Lee.
“We knew going in that we had a good shot. We knew we were a good group going in, and I guess it just all happened,” said team member Grey Bradley.
“I knew, I said we won, so we jumped up and ran down the stairs, and it was just an awesome experience for these kids," said team coach Donna McCloud.
They now have just a little more than two months to prepare for their all-expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. for the National Science Bowl in April.
The team has this week off to relish in their victory, but next week, they’ll be back at it, going through practice rounds before and after school and just learning as much as they can.
We have experts in the field coming in. We have a doctor coming in to teach anatomy; we have a mathematician coming in to teach formulas so that they’re better prepared for some of the questions that they missed," said team coach Sarah Brewer. “And we’re strategizing. So we’re watching film footage of past winners, and we’re just trying to bring it.”
The students can't help but be proud of how far they've already come.
“We were going up against big schools like Tupelo and Oxford and Germantown. It was kind of stressful seeing that we only have 200 kids per grade going up against these big schools, but we showed that size doesn’t matter and that we can do it,” said Kameryn Bardwell.
This is the second year for the Science Bowl program at East Central.
The National Science Bowl will be held April 30 - May 4 in Washington, D.C.
Ocean Springs Middle School was this year’s runner up at the regional competition.