Middle School Science Bowl

National Science Bowl is a nationwide academic competition that tests students’ knowledge in all areas of science and mathematics. Middle and high school student teams from diverse backgrounds are comprised of four students, one alternate and a teacher who serves as an advisor and coach. These teams face-off in a fast-paced question-and-answer format, being tested on a range of science disciplines including biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy, and math.

The Department of Energy (DOE) created the National Science 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 throughout its 26-year history, and it is one of the nation’s largest science competitions. We are looking forward to showcasing the diverse, talented and knowledgeable students on our campus.

Goals of Class
MS Science Bowl I is a 12-week middle-school science program. Together with MS Science Bowl II (Spring 2020), III (Fall 2020) and IV (Spring 2021), a total of 48 MS Science topics will be covered.

The goals of this class are to:

1. Deepen and broaden the student’s interest and understanding of Science
2. Provide a solid foundation in Science, so that the student is eventually well prepared for high school Science
3. Sharpen the student’s competitive edge in Science Bowl competition Class Syllabus: This is detailed on the next page.

Class schedule (Fall 2019)
Classes are on Sundays from 4-6 pm, on September 8, 15, 22, 29, October 6, 20, 27, November 3, 10, 17, and December 1 and 8.

Class schedule (Spring 2020)
Classes are on Sundays from 4-6 pm. Class dates are : Feb 2, 9, 18, 23, March 1, 22, 29, April 5, 12, 17, 26, and May 3.

Structure of Class
The class includes lectures, explanatory movies, hands-on activities (wherever feasible), student quizzes, a final exam, as well as a buzzer-based practices with Science Bowl questions Recommended Textbooks: Students should read the corresponding chapters in the Science textbook recommended by their school.

Suitable textbooks include any one of these

  • Fusion Science for Grades 6, 7, 8 (HOUGHTON MIFFLIN HARCOURT)
  • Glencoe Science: Level Red, Level Green, Level Blue
  • McGraw Hill Life Science, Physical Science, Earth Science

What students are expected to do (for maximum learning experience):

  • Read corresponding chapters from textbook, ahead and after the class.
  • Instead of detailed lecture notes, “Highlights & Keywords” are provided for each chapter. The student should take full advantage of these handouts, by adding any notes based on the class lecture, textbook reading, movies seen in class, etc. Once fully annotated, these will be very useful for preparing for Science Bowl, and Science examinations.
  • Participate actively in class discussion and buzzer rounds.
  • Practice answering Science Bowl questions using the quiz sets posted at the NSB website: https://science.osti.gov/wdts/nsb/Regional-Competitions/Resources/MS-Sample-Questions
  • Weekly buzzer-based quizzes and a written exam will be used to gauge the student’s progress. Frequent revision of the “Highlights & Keywords” provided and the school textbook will enable the student to do well on these assessments.

Topics Covered:

MS Science Bowl I (Fall 2019)

1.1 Earth Layers, Tectonic Plates, Earthquakes
1.2 Tectonic boundaries, Faults, Volcanos, Mountain building, Coral Reefs
1.3 Igneous, Sedimentary, Metamorphic Rocks
1.4 Weathering, Erosion & Deposition, Mass wasting, Soil types
1.5 Human Body I– Integumentary, Musculoskeletal systems & Blood
1.6 Human Body II– Circulatory, Respiratory and Immune systems
1.7 Human Body III– Nervous and Endocrine systems, Eyes, Ears
1.8 Human Body IV– Digestive, Excretory and Reproductive systems
1.9 Atoms, Elements, Compounds, Isotopes, Atomic & Mass numbers
1.10 Electron Shells & Periodic Table; Properties of selected groups; Uses of Elements
1.11 Metallic, ionic and covalent bonding; Formulae and uses of common ionic & covalent compounds
1.12 Types of chemical reactions, catalysts, Balancing equations I; Team competition & Awards

MS Science Bowl II (Spring 2020)

2.1 Molarity, Mass percentage, Molecular Mass, Mole:Mole calculations
2.2 Empirical & Molecular Formula, Molecular models, Simple calculations
2.3 Acids, Bases, Salts, pH, simple calculations
2.4 Introduction to Organic chemistry
2.5 Macromolecules – Lipids, carbohydrates, proteins, nucleotides
2.6 Animal and Plant Cells, Organelles, cell membranes
2.7 Cell cycle, Mitosis, DNA, RNA, Protein
2.8 Alleles, Genotype, Phenotype, Dominant, Recessive, Punnett Square, ABO blood group
2.9 Terrestrial Biomes, Deserts (& Erosion), Glaciers, Forests
2.10 Marine Biomes, Oceans, Rivers, Lakes/ponds, Shores, Types of Coasts
2.11 Geological Eras, Dating, Fossils, Non-conformities
2.12 Geology & Minerals; Team competition & Awards

MS Science Bowl III (Fall 2020)

3.1 Solar system & Planets; Origins of the Universe
3.2 Sun, Solstice, Equinox, Moon, Tides, Eclipses, Celestial sphere
3.3 Stars, Galaxies, Constellations, Stellar evolution, H-R Diagram
3.4 Asteroids, Comets, Meteors, Measuring Distances in Space, Telescopes
3.5 Classification of Living Organisms, Bacteria, Viruses, Protists, Fungi
3.6 Bryophytes, Tracheophytes, Angiosperms & Gymnosperms
3.7 Invertebrate classification and characteristics
3.8 Vertebrate classification and characteristics
3.9 Physical versus Chemical properties; mass, volume, density; common units
3.10 Displacement, Velocity, Acceleration, Scalar vs Vector quantities
3.11 Simple Lever, Mechanical Advantage, Forces, simple calculations
3.12 Energy, Kinetic vs Potential Energy; Team competition & Awards

MS Science Bowl IV (Spring 2021)

4.1 Atmospheric layers, Clouds, Greenhouse gases, Acid Rain
4.2 Weather, Humidity, Fronts, Global wind systems, Global ocean currents
4.3 Natural Disasters – Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Earthquakes & Volcanoes
4.4 Important Cycles – Water Cycle, Rock Cycle, Carbon Cycle, Nitrogen cycle
4. 5 Overview of common diseases – Anatomy, Physiology & Etiology
4.6 Plant Processes –respiration, photosynthesis, transpiration, pollination, fertilization, hormones
4.7 Ecology, Succession, Symbiotic relationships, Food webs, Keystone Species
4.8 Natural Selection, Homologous vs Analogous structures, Adaptation
4.9 Heat, Temperature, Pressure, Volume, Gas Laws, simple calculations
4.10 Electromagnetic Spectrum, Light, simple calculations
4.11 Sound, waves, frequency, amplitude, simple calculations
4.12 Electricity & Magnetism; Team competition & Awards