Farmingdale High School Wins Regional Science Bowl at Brookhaven Lab for Second Consecutive Year

By Cassie Kelly

Science Bowl winners enlarge

Pictured with their coach, Peter Macchia, are the students from Farmingdale High School who took top honors at the Regional High School Science Bowl held at Brookhaven Lab January 30. From left to right are Clarisse Baes, Ramin Chowdhury, Hamza Malick, Suraj Muralidharan, and Jake Chammas. The team will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Finals in Washington, DC, scheduled for April 28-May 2.

UPTON, NY — For the second year in a row, Farmingdale High School won the Brookhaven National Laboratory/Long Island Regional High School Science Bowl, which was held at the Lab on Saturday, January 30. Farmingdale competed against 19 other teams from across Long Island in one of the nation's regional competitions of the 26th Annual U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl® (NSB). As the winning team, Farmingdale will be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Finals in Washington, D.C., scheduled for April 28-May 2. 

"The National Science Bowl® continues to be one of the premier academic competitions across the country, and prepares America's students for future successes in some of the world's fastest growing fields in research and engineering," said U.S. Energy Secretary Moniz. "I am honored to congratulate all of the competitors who are advancing to the national finals where they will continue to showcase their talents as top students in math and science."

Middle and high school student teams from diverse backgrounds are each made up 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.

In an exciting finish, Farmingdale High School edged out Mount Sinai High School to win the competition. Great Neck South High School took third place, and Lynbrook High School finished fourth.

Science Bowl second place winners enlarge

Pictured with their coach, Gina Sing, are the students from Mount Sinai High School who placed second at the Regional High School Science Bowl held at Brookhaven Lab January 30. From left to right are Andrew Rodriguez, Nick Eberhard, Danny O'Mara, Alexander Mule, and Patrick Hanaj.

Farmingdale coach Peter Macchia, an earth science teacher, said the team worked very hard for their victory. "We took a different approach this year," Macchia said. "Instead of trying to win a trophy, they were preparing for college. So, they benefitted from studying together almost every day, and win or lose, they can now be successful in college."  

Farmingdale's team consisted of four seniors—Clarisse Baes, Ramin Chowdhury, Suraj Muralidharan, Jake Chammas—and junior Hamza Malick. The senior students are still deciding where to go to college, but are eager to get their acceptance letters from schools across the country. 

Farmingdale students boasted about their strengths as a team this year. "This win feels even better than last year because we focused on teamwork, which led us to become even closer friends," said Clarisse Baes. "We are grateful to our coach for his guidance and for mentoring us for this competition."

Farmingdale's team captain, Suraj Muralidharan is eager to go to Nationals for the second time. "Going to the national competition in Washington DC was awesome, going twice will be even better!" Muralidharan said.

Hamza Malick said that winning was a testament to their hard work, and that he will miss his teammates since they are all graduating and heading to college. But he plans to return next year to garner a three-time win.

A series of 118 regional middle school and high school tournaments are being held across the country from January through March. Winners will advance to represent their areas at the National Science Bowl®, held from April 28 to May 2 in Washington, DC, for the final middle school and high school competitions. 

The top 16 high school teams and the top eight middle school teams in the National Finals will win $1,000 for their schools' science departments. Prizes for the top two high school teams for the 2016 NSB will be announced at a later date.

In the competition at Brookhaven Lab, participating students received a Science Bowl t-shirt, and winning teams also received trophies, medals, and cash awards. Prizes are courtesy of Brookhaven Lab's event sponsor, Brookhaven Science Associates, the company that manages and operates the Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy.

More about the Science Bowl:

Beginning in January 2016, more than 9,000 high school students and 4,500 middle school students will compete in 70 high school and 50 middle school regional NSB tournaments. Approximately 250,000 students have participated in the NSB since it was established in 1991, and it is one of the nation's largest science competitions. 

The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Science manages the NSB and sponsors the NSB finals competition. More information about these events is available on the National Science Bowl® website

Brookhaven National Laboratory is supported by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy. The Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit

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