2017 Science Bowl teams in D.C.!

The Edina high school and Minnetonka West middle school Science Bowl teams were in D.C. for the National Science Bowl weekend April 27-May 1.

Minnetonka West finished in the Top 16 of the country in the middle school competition Saturday! Quite a feat! 


The strong Edina high school team — repeating champions from our region — struggled. Coach Michael Roddy: "Kind of a bummer -- we were in contention for every match but one, but things just didn't break our way." The team got a little Tweet promotion from the National Science Bowl because of the MPR story about their recent participation in the March for Science. Excerpt: "The Edina High School students were happy to spend their Saturday morning among the thousands of demonstrators at the March for Science Minnesota in St. Paul. 'I've always been a data driven person. Always looking for facts to support whatever I'm looking for. And I've always been asking questions,' said Iyer, 17, a senior."

Who are they?

From the Edina High School team, which repeated as regional Science Bowl winners:

Meghana I., senior: She looks forward to competing at Nationals for the second year. Outside of Science Bowl, she enjoys playing piano, singing Indian classical music, and participating in Model UN. She also competes in math and biology competitions. Meghana has conducted stem cell and regenerative lung medicine research at the University of Minnesota and this past summer, she grew a mouse lung. In her free time, Meghana likes to sing, dance, and watch all things Bollywood. Next year, she plans to attend college to study biophysics and computational biology.

Jenny Z., senior: In addition to Science Bowl, she is on the math team, participates in chemistry and physics competitions, and enjoys singing and art. She is interested in studying math and/or computer science in college.

Michael T., senior: He likes to play with numbers, to the point of obsession. He is a captain of the Minnesota All-State Math Team, a two-time AMC 10 perfect scorer, and he recently picked up a top-ten individual award at HMMT 2017. In his darker hours, he likes to imagine that if math were not a subject covered in Science Bowl, he would probably not be on the team. Michael will attend MIT in the fall, and would like to study mathematics or computer science. In his spare time, he likes to work on logic puzzles, play the piano, and pretend to be good at video games. His favorite band is the Mountain Goats.

Mathew Z., junior: He plans to study biology in college, and become either a marine biologist or an ornithologist. He also plays the tuba in band. His favorite hobbies include birding, fishing, and observing nature. He keeps more than 10 species of carnivorous plants, and is going on a 28-day canoe trip to Canada in the summer. 

Robert (Bobby) S., junior: When he was 7, Bobby discovered his love for science when he ate a slug in his backyard. (Just kidding.) However, through Science Bowl, he has discovered a new interest in science and aspires to be like his heroes Neil Degrasse Tyson and Bill Nye. He enjoys activities such as Model United Nations, Mock Trial, and playing golf. 

From the Minnetonka West Middle School team:

Emily, 7th grade: She attends all available Honors classes (Language & Arts, Math, and Science). Emily started school at Minnewashta Elementary School, where she was accepted into the Wings Program for high-potential children. In addition to being a member of the Science Bowl team at her school, she is also a member of the Math team, and last year, she became the only sixth grader to make the team and compete. Emily is also a member of the school swim team; she also enjoys horseback riding, reading, and traveling in the U.S. and Europe. Emily aspires to become a scientist and hopes to attend an Ivy League university.

Declan, 7th grade: He enjoys science, math, and school in general. Declan plays five different sports: soccer, basketball, gymnastics, tennis, and swimming. He also participates in the Knowledge Bowl and Mathletes at school and takes guitar and cello lessons outside of school.

Aidan, 8th grade: He began his education in Minnetonka’s Mandarin immersion program but now takes Spanish. In addition to language, he loves math and science. Aidan recently won the school spelling bee and has hopes of yet another trip to D.C. He was last in DC for the national KidWind Challenge in 2015. In 2016, he was awarded the Minnetonka Scholar Award for his performance on the SAT exam. He also enjoys Key Log rolling and competes with Blue Ox Log Rolling (shout-out!) every chance he can get. He hopes to one day attend MIT or Caltech and become a video game developer. Aidan really likes Mario Bros ... and llamas. He’s also currently learning to play the ocarina.

Elizabeth, 7th grade: She enjoys studying math, reading, programming, drawing felines, and playing the piano. She joined Science Bowl to widen her knowledge of science. Elizabeth is hoping to be a neurosurgeon when she grows up.

Rory, 7th grade: His favorite subjects include math, science and STEM. He is representing his school in the State level of the National Geographic Bee for the third year in a row. Rory also enjoys playing the piano, learning French and playing soccer. In Rory’s free time, he likes to read, as well as write computer programs. He also recently won the Chemistry Quiz Bowl and will represent Minnesota in D.C. for that as well. MAS asked him a few additional questions:

  • How does chemistry make the world go around? I think the Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum, while not chemistry, makes the world go round!
  • What has fueled your interest in the sciences?I have always wanted to learn more about how the world works.
  • What is your dream job, if you have any ideas yet?Chemical engineering if I had to pick now.
  • What is something in a Bowl you answered correctly that you were especially proud of?I knew an answer about which disaccharide a given enzyme decomposed.
  • What are you most looking forward to in D.C.?Food at the 4-H Center. It beats school lunch any day of the week!

Coach Mitch Elvebak grew up in southern Minnesota. He received a BS degree in Earth Science teaching from Winona State University and a MS degree in science education from Bemidji State University. While at WSU, he developed an appreciation for the earth sciences and decided that was where he would pursue a career. Working with kids at the local middle school fostered his passion to become an earth science teacher. The Copernican view of the universe was the beginning of our understanding of our place in the universe. The theory of plate tectonics has revolutionized our understanding of how the Earth works. Camping with family and stargazing with his daughters are activities he looks forward to.