For 3rd year in a row, Minnetonka West headed to National Science Bowl

- A group of students in the west metro is proving once again they are among the smartest in the state as they prepare to compete in the National Science Bowl. It's the team's third appearance in a row at Nationals.

Upon hearing the first practice question, it's abundantly clear these are not your average eighth graders.

Recently beating out 21 teams and winning the Regional Science Bowl, Minnetonka West Middle School will return to Washington D.C. to compete against 50 regional teams at Nationals.

For Madison Andrews and Nick Carver the trip will be a first, the second time for Elizabeth Morgan and Emily Nikas and third appearance in a row for Rory Cole. Mitch Elvebak and Fred Stock coach the team.

“Yeah, I’d say it’s a lot of pressure because you are representing your state and you are up against like all of these really good teams in California and New York,” said Cole.

The competition consists of rapid fire questions, similar to a game of Jeopardy, and quizzes students in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, energy, math and physics.

This is Minnetonka West's fifth team to go to Nationals in nine years. Last year, the team earned a cash prize for placing in the top 16 in the country.

“I’m excited to see what they are going to do because they are very motivated,” said Stock, one of the team’s coaches. “Yeah they’ve really been putting in their time on their own.”

While they clearly take studying seriously, they're also looking forward to some fun along the way. 

“At the 4-H center they give you unlimited ice cream - definitely looking forward to that,” said Cole.

Students will leave for Washington D.C. at the end of April for that all-expense paid trip. The competition last from April 26 to 30. Along with competing, they'll be attending tours, and lectures and meeting scientists in some of the career fields they plan to pursue. 

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