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North Hollywood, Arcadia high schools place in national science contest

May 3, 2010 |  2:38 pm

North Hollywood and Arcadia high schools placed third and fourth, respectively, in the Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl competition in Washington, organizers said Monday.

First Lady Michelle Obama congratulated the students over the weekend, telling them “we want young people energized in the way that you all are, because we know that American brain power in science and math has always driven this country’s prosperity, helping us make the discoveries and to build the industries that have transformed the way we live and work.”

The two teams of five high school students from the L.A. area answered tough questions, such as "Who was the Nobel Prize winner in physics?" in a specific year and "What is the greatest source of energy used in the U.S.?"

They also had to solve long math equations and show a range of understanding, from physics to chemistry, from earth science to astronomy.

The competition’s first- and second-place winners represented a North Carolina school and Mira Loma High School in Sacramento.

The L.A.-area students were proud of their accomplishments in a competition involving 68 high schools from 42 states, said Walter Ziesl, coordinator of the Science Bowl sponsored by the L.A. Department of Water and Power.

“These kids are all excited,” he said. “Last year, North Hollywood came in sixth and didn’t make it to the trophy round.”

-- Ching-Ching Ni