The John Witherspoon Middle School Science Bowl team won first place in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Regional Science Bowl on Feb. 20 at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory.
The team will go on to the National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C. from April 30 to May 4.
The Witherspoon team, coached by science teacher William Merritt, won in the 11th round of the competition against William Annin Middle School in Basking Ridge.
Merritt has been coaching the Science Bowl team for six years and this is the first time the team won. It came in second in last year’s competition. “This was very close,” he said. “I think I was more nervous than the kids were.”
It was a close match, and William Annin had won the tenth round of the competition. “It was really close,” said team member, Jeffrey Cheng.
“This is my last year doing it and going to nationals is really just a dream come true,” said Team Captain Lukas Eriksson.
Other team members were Aaron Wu, Hyun Tae Choi, and David DiMella.
Another local team, West Windsor-Plainsboro High School South, won the high school competition and will also be going to the nationals in Washington D.C. Millburn High School came in second and Bridgewater High School came in third.