Children Don Thinking Caps

Children Don Thinking Caps

Little Run Elementary Science Bowl has children thinking hard to win.

Four teams competing for a grand prize and the coveted title of science bowl champions, raced to come up with the right answers in the Little Run Elementary First Annual Science Bowl on Friday, May 5.

The school’s science committee thought of the idea as a way to increase student interest in science, said Principal Janet Johnson.

Parents, faculty and students filled the school’s gymnasium, watching on as four teams wrote their answers on small marker boards. The teams, sitting at tables in the front of the gym, consisted of third, fourth, fifth and sixth grade students. The host and emcee of the event, science department coordinator Deborah Moeller, read questions over a microphone and waited for each team to come up with an answer. Judges were seated behind each team, recording their official answers to each question before Moeller awarded points to the winners.

"I'm so thrilled that the school would do something like this," said School Board member Janet Oleszek (At-large). "Janet [Little Run Principal Johnson] does a great job balancing the narrowing curriculum and the necessity of keeping creative programs that challenge students."

Oleszek attended the science contest because she said it is important to support creative school programs. She said she was especially pleased to see so many parents at the event, and also commended coordinator of the event, Moeller, for encouraging such a fun learning program.

"I thought the Science Bowl was stunning," said Oleszek.

TO KEEP the teams fair, students participated in elimination tests in the weeks leading up to the science bowl.

“Some kids were too shy to compete,” said Moeller. “I had a run-off for the top 16 scientists for this competition.”

In the end, team two took the grand prize. Third-grader Giorgio Gonzales Bustos, fourth-grader Jake Garrant, fifth-grader Maxwell Tran and sixth-grader Alden Garon all took home handheld microscopes and slides as their prize, on top of the pride they earned as champions. The team members were excited about their win.

“We practiced on this really cool Web site,” said Jake.

"If we didn't have you we would have lost," said Georgio to teammate Max.

Jake was referring to the Virginia Department of Education Web site ( set up to help students study science and math. The site provides multiple choice questions, allowing students to check their answers as they go along.

As for team two, all four of the winning members said they want to do something science-related when they grow up.

"I want to work for NASA," said Giorgio.

"I wan to be a doctor," said Max.

Jake Garrant and Alden Garon both want to work with animals.

"I want to be a zoologist," said Jake.

"I'm going to be a veterinarian," said Alden.