By Tim Leeds
Two teams will be leaving Havre High School tomorrow to compete in the Big Sky regional tournament of the National Science Bowl in Billings.
The winner of the regional bowl will receive a trip to Washington to participate in the national tournament May 4-7. The science bowl is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.
The teams, consisting of Lindsey Brandt, David Chambers, Tyler Croft, Mike Frey and Nick Obie on one and Andrew Edwards, Justin Kegel, Mike Ladenburg, Mario Pizzini and Jeff Sprinkle on the other, will leave at about noon with registration for the competition to start at Lockwood School outside of Billings at 8:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 10. Coaches Dan Koffler and Carol Pleninger will be accompanying them on the trip. Diane Way, the other coach of the teams, could not make the trip.
Pleninger said the first part of the competition will begin at about 9 a.m. with a round-robin event. The state is divided into districts, and all teams from a district will face each other in the round-robin. The top two teams from each division will advance to a double-elimination finals tournament in the afternoon.
The teams will have questions from categories of astronomy, biology, chemistry, computer science, earth science, general science, math and physics. Students ring in on a toss-up question, with the student ringing in required to give the answer. If answered correctly, the team is awarded four points, then given a bonus question worth 10 points that the entire team can confer on. The designated team captain has to give the answer on the bonus question.
Pleninger said strict formalities must be followed. Only the team captain can give the bonus question answer, only the competitor ringing in can give the toss-up answer, and the competitors must wait to be recognized by the host of the round before answering.
The teams consist of four players, with the fifth member included as an alternate. Pleninger said the team can make substitutions at the half-time of the approximately 30 minute rounds, and the Havre teams will rotate all of their members into the competition during the rounds.
She said Fergus County High School won the event last year, with Havre tying for fifth. CMR from Great Falls won the year before. Pleninger said Havre High fielded only one team last year, but they decided to take two to the competition this year.