INL News Release
Feb. 12, 2009

Steve Zollinger, 208-313-4548, 

Idaho high schools compete in 19th INL Scholastic Tournament

Approximately 800 Idaho high school students representing 79 high schools will put brain power to work over the next 45 days in an attempt to capture one of three state championships and berths at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C., April 30 through May 5.

The INL Scholastic Tournament, sponsored by DOE's Idaho National Laboratory, is the largest of the 67 regional National Science Bowl tournaments across the U.S. and Virgin Islands.  Since its inception in 1991, the National Science Bowl has attracted more than 150,000 high school students in the "Jeopardy-style" contest, with 13,000 more expected this year.

High schools will compete in one of three divisions based on school enrollment. Regional tournaments will be held at the University of Idaho, Feb. 18-19, Boise State University, March 2-3, and the Idaho State University Center for Higher Education in Idaho Falls, March 9-10. 

Twenty-eight teams will move on to the state championship tournament March 24-25 in Boise. The championship team of each division will be crowned following matches videotaped at Idaho Public Television on March 25 and broadcast on Saturday, March 28. Streaming of last year's program can be viewed at

The competition is set up similar to sporting events with round-robin and consolation format tournaments. Teams consist of as many as 10 members, with eight competing at a given time.  The fast-paced question-and-answer event awards points to teams quickest to "buzz in" and answer the most questions correctly.

The North Regional tournament is Feb. 18-19 at the University of Idaho's Student Commons Building. Competition on Feb. 18 begins at 10 a.m. and 1:30 and on Feb. 19 at 11 a.m.

The West Regional tournament is March 2-3 at Boise State University's Student Union Building. Competition begins March 2 at 11 a.m. and on March 3 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The East Regional tournament is March 9-10 at the University Place Student Union Building in Idaho Falls. Competition begins March 9 at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. and March 10 at 10 a.m.

INL Scholastic Tournament receives financial support from Micron Foundation, Westmark Credit Union and Idaho Power.

INL is one of the DOE's 10 multiprogram national laboratories. The laboratory performs work in each of the strategic goal areas of DOE: energy, national security, science and environment. INL is the nation's leading center for nuclear energy research and development. Day-to-day management and operation of the laboratory is the responsibility of Battelle Energy Alliance. Visit our Web site at


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