EDMOND — Members of the Edmond Santa Fe High School science team said they loved seeing the sights in the nation's capitol during their recent trip, and gained valuable experience to help them be more competitive in the future.
Five students and two teachers took part in the 22nd annual U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl April 26-30 along with 68 other teams. Team coach Mark Becannen valued the competitive experience for his young team. He admits he wasn't happy with the results.
“We did not do well,” he said. “I'm not making any excuses, but not having any seniors made a difference.”
Some of the smartest teens in the United States were invited to the national competition by the Department of Energy, which picked up the tab for travel expenses.
Santa Fe students on the team were Julia Zhu, junior; Jane Hsi, junior; Brandon Wong, sophomore; Steven Kappen, sophomore; and Jacob Rowe, sophomore. They won the chance to compete with a February victory against 24 Oklahoma teams in regional action.
The agenda included a lot of sightseeing — although more time was needed, Becannen said.
“I would have liked to have come a day earlier and seen more,” he said.
Another instructor, Laura Eckard, looked back on the whirlwind trip.
“We went to the D.C. Mall and in five hours visited the National Gallery and the Smithsonian,” she recalled. “It was a pleasure to travel with this group of students.”