Blinded by science

Extracurricular competition in the Clark County School District isn't limited to the athletic fields.

Last weekend, a five-member team from Advanced Technologies Academy took home the trophy in the Nevada Regional Science Bowl, besting 31 other teams from Nevada, California and Utah.

The Las Vegas area was well-represented, with Green Valley High taking second and The Meadows finishing third.

The Science Bowl -- created in 1991 and hosted in Las Vegas by the U.S. Department of Energy -- is designed to challenge student knowledge in advanced math, astronomy, physics, biology, chemistry and Earth science. The format is similar to that of the TV game show "Jeopardy!"

You can bet these kids don't spend too much time watching the Kardashians.

The team from Advanced Technologies -- located near Rancho and Vegas drives and coached by biology teacher Becky Colledge -- earned $5,000 for their school. Of greater importance, they earned an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C., in late April to compete in the Energy Department's National Science Bowl.

While competing against more than 100 teams for the national title, the Advanced Technologies squad will have to endure questions such as:

Some bacteria in the colon manufacture:

A) peptidases

B) vitamin K

C) trace elements

D) essential amino acids

No, we don't know either.

While much of the news coming out of the Clark County School District focuses on low test scores and underperforming campuses, the Advanced Technologies Academy win offers a much-needed reminder that the district each year is also producing hundreds of gifted young people destined for high achievement and success.


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