CGI U 2013 at Washington University in St. Louis

Missouri Regional Science Bowl

Amanda Yuen,  MBA student, Olin School of Business

Missouri Regional Science Bowl is an academic competition that brings together middle school students from across Missouri who are excited about science. Science Bowl is designed to encourage students to get engaged in science at an early age and begin considering careers in related fields. As an organization, Missouri Regional Science Bowl seeks to facilitate a science education ecosystem in Missouri where resources and organizations from around the state collaborate.

Demand for graduates from Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields is growing rapidly with the Bureau of Labor Statistics citing 70 percent faster growth than the overall growth for all occupations. Beyond industry employment, K-12 schools struggle to fill science and math teaching positions with qualified and knowledgeable applicants. Gaining student interest in middle school promotes early awareness of STEM-related careers as well as encourages students to build appropriate background knowledge in the sciences.

Missouri Regional Science Bowl will host an annual academic competition for up to 140 middle school students from across the state. To ensure success, the team will collaborate with schools, associated non-profits and other organizations beginning in September of each year. This collaboration includes recruiting teams, identifying sponsors and volunteers and creating partnerships to provide science-related activities. Throughout September to February, the team will publicize related events and potentially host scrimmages for registered teams. In March, the academic competition will take place with the winner proceeding to Nationals in April.

Although Science Bowl exists around the country, this is the first opportunity middle school students, in Missouri, will have to participate. While team members have tackled science and education issues in the past, the creation of a new academic competition is a different method than team members have previously used to encourage science engagement.