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Tuesday, Feb 19 2013 12:02 AM

Students headed to DC

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Tehachapi High School students Chey Anne Anderson, Sam Gillam, Max Greason, Brandon Chao, Coach Dan Gillam and Ryan Bilotta display their banner, as winners of the 2013 Regional Champions for the National Science Bowl, sponsored by the U.S, Department of Energy. Photo courtesy of Tehachapi High School

A group of incredibly brainy Tehachapi High School students are prepping to go up against some of the country's finest high schools in the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science's National Science Bowl finals in Washington, D.C. this April.

But getting to this point wasn't easy. The team had to achieve its hard-fought win at the 20th annual Kern County Regional High School Science Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 9 at Cal State Bakersfield.

Competing against 30 other teams, the THS blue team was undefeated in the regional competition that included students from California City, Centennial, Liberty, Frazier Mountain, Stockdale, West, Highland and Shafter.

As the champions, the students will embark on an all expense paid trip funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to D.C. on April 25-29.

This the first time in history the THS team has taken the regional championship, which was established 23 years ago to challenge students to consider the science and mathematics fields and look towards career choices in these fields.

It was the 15th year CSUB hosted the event that was sponsored by Occidental of Elk Hills, Aera Energy and the American Petroleum Institute San Joaquin Chapter, out of the 20 years it has been in Kern County.

Coach Dan Gillam said his students were faced with tough mathematical problems and tested on their knowledge of a vast number of areas including astronomy, biology, earth science and physics, but team members Chey Anne Anderson, Ryan Bilotta, Sam Gillam, Max Greason and Brandon Choa rose to the challenge.

The entire team along with its coach is excited to have won the competition and is looking forward to the opportunity to represent Tehachapi and central California, on the national stage while putting their hometown on the academic map.

The team also received special congratulations from U.S. Congressman Kevin McCarthy.

"Congratulations to Tehachapi High School on winning and earning a place in the National Finals at the National Science Bowl," McCarthy said. "This tremendous success in science, technology, engineering and math speaks to the drive and ability of the students and teachers at Tehachapi High, and I look forward to watching them compete on the national stage."


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