Where do troglodytes typically live?
A Lakeside High School team was among more than 300 high school students who knew the answers to questions such as that one.
The team traveled to Washington this week to compete in the Department of Energy's National Science Bowl. Teams competing were among this year's champions in 66 regional competitions involving 1,800 schools and 13,000 students.
The Lakeside team arrived in Washington on Thursday and came home Monday. The coach is Steve Ellerbee and team members are Sagar Bapat, Howard Chen, William Diehl, David Tian and Dilal Yousafzai.
Lakeside's team won two of the six matches in the pool play and did not make it out of round play.
But Yousufzai, a sophomore, said he wasn't disappointed.
"The competition was really tough - they knew what they were doing," he said. "A lot of the teams are perennial powerhouses. This is a new experience for us."
On May 3, the students attended a Science Day in which 10 teams of students designed, built and raced hydrogen fuel-cell model cars, while other students heard from researchers describing their work ranging from oceanography to forensic sciences.
On May 4, the academic competition began with 10 round-robin matches, followed by double elimination matches to determine the top 18 teams. The teams answered increasingly difficult questions in biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, mathematics and earth and general sciences.
But it wasn't all work. The group toured museums and monuments while they were there.
Finalist rounds began Monday morning to decide the top four teams.
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham was the guest speaker at the awards ceremony. The top 18 teams received $1,000 each for their schools.
The Department of Energy created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage high school students to excel in math and science and to pursue careers in these fields.
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