Team cars leave the start line during the electric car competition portion of the 2016 National Science Bowl competition in Washington, D.C., on May 1, 2016. (Jack Dempsey/U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science)
Team cars leave the start line during the electric car competition portion of the 2016 National Science Bowl competition in Washington, D.C., on May 1, 2016. (Jack Dempsey/U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science)

A team of students from Washington designed and built the fastest lithium-ion battery-powered model car during a national competition. On Sunday, May 1, BASIS DC Middle School won the electric car competition with a time of 6.48 during the Department of Energy Office of Sciences National Science Bowl at the National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

“The National Science Bowl continues to be one of the premier academic competitions across the country and prepares America’s students for future successes in some of the world’s fastest-growing fields in research and engineering,” U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said.

There were 47 middle school teams that competed and won their car races in regional science bowl academic competitions nationwide.

The top three teams were Basis DC Middle School of Washington, Hunter College Middle School of New York and Mission Junior High School of Texas.

They each took home trophies and $500 for their school’s science department.

“You’re facing other people who have won their state, and when you’re facing people of that skill level it’s really intense and it’s really awesome,” Nate Petersen, Basis DC eighth grader, told ABC7.

“It was really hard because we would see teams going by with their really cool looking cars. Ours was just flat but we still won first place,” Mia Rothstein, Basis DC student said.

Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring won the national title on the finale of the competition on Monday, May 2. It had been 17 years since their last title.

“It feels pretty rewarding. I’ve been doing this for a long time. Sort of like building up my knowledge base,” 17-year-old Arnold Mong told ABC7 News.

The National Science Bowl said while the academic competition is the primary focus, the car race is also intended to further engage middle school students in science and math.

The DOE created the Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields.

Approximately 265,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl since its creation.

“I am honored to congratulate all of the competitors who are advancing to the national finals where they will continue to showcase their talents as top students in math and science,” Moniz said.

Sarafina Wright –Washington Informer Staff Writer

Sarafina Wright is a staff writer at the Washington Informer where she covers business, community events, education, health and politics. She also serves as the editor-in-chief of the WI Bridge, the Informer’s...

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