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Students bring high school Science Bowl to BU

Ishan Patel (CAS’08) and Ashmita Randhawa (ENG’08) are working to bring the Science Bowl to BU.

As a high school student, Ishan Patel (CAS’08) competed in the Regional Science Bowl at Brown University. When he came to Boston University, he wanted to stay involved and decided to try to bring the regional qualifications to his own school.

"It really encourages science learning" said Patel, who found the competition challenging and inspiring. "There is so much we don’t know, it helps student appreciate the power of science and hopefully will encourage students to pursue science as a career. Many have an interest, but need to be encouraged to explore."

Patel, a chemistry major, and his friend Ashmita Randhawa (ENG’08), studying biomedical engineering, flew to St. Louis, Mo., last year to attend a coordinators meeting for the event, and the University was approved as the site of the Massachusetts regional qualifications.

Patel and Randhawa then began a campaign to obtain sponsorship for the event, asking department heads and companies for support. The Merck Research Labs and Boston University’s science and engineering colleges, departments and centers are the main sponsors of the regional qualifications, which take place on Saturday, February 18, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The event, which is in a round robin format, consists of 36 student teams from local high schools answering questions about chemistry, biology, physics, astronomy, earth science, general science, and mathematics. The winners will move on to the finals, where they will compete with more than 12,000 students for scholarships and other prizes.

Patel and Randhawa have been working since last year to ensure that the regional qualifications go off without a hitch. “We’ve been running around getting everything organized,” says Randhawa. “It should be cool.” They are currently looking for student volunteers to moderate and help out at the event. Those interested should contact Ashmita Randhawa at ashmita@bu.edu.