Q: At the surface of the Earth, the acceleration due to gravity is g. At an elevation of twice the Earth’s radius, what best represents the acceleration due to gravity?
Odds are, members of a team from BASIS Scottsdale would tell you the answer is “g/9.” And they were just one of the teams from the charter school that competed earlier this year in the annual Middle School Science Bowl, an initiative of the Arizona Technology Council Workforce Development Committee. It was Team #1 from the school that came out on top in the finals, winning a trip to the 2014 National Science Bowl Finals in Washington, D.C. (If you’re wondering, teams from sister schools BASIS Peoria and BASIS Tucson North were the other two finalists.)
But the bigger news came a few months later, in April, when the Scottsdale team advanced to the finals: They were named one of the top eight schools when the action ended, claiming a $1,000 prize for the school’s science department. The students’ only loss was to the Greater Boston Science & Math Team from Andover, Mass., which finished in first place.
More than 225,000 middle and high school students have participated nationwide since the National Science Bowl was established in 1991, making it one of the nation’s largest science competitions. In 2013 alone, approximately 14,000 students competed in the Bowl, which is managed by the Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
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