INL News Release
Feb. 15, 2010

Steve Zollinger, 208-313-4548,
Misty Benjamin, 208-526-5940,

20th INL Scholastic Tournament challenges Idaho high school students

For two decades, Idaho National Laboratory has helped high school students throughout Idaho converge for friendly battles of brain power. Over the next 45 days, approximately 800 Idaho high school students representing 73 high schools will compete for a trip to the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl, which begins April 29 in Washington, D.C.

The INL Scholastic Tournament, sponsored by DOE’s INL since 1990, is the largest of the 67 regional National Science Bowl tournaments across the U.S. and Virgin Islands. The game-show-style National Science Bowl has attracted more than 163,000 high school students since its inception in 1991.

High schools will compete in one of three divisions based on enrollment. Regional tournaments will be at University of Idaho on Feb. 17-18, the Idaho State University Center for Higher Education in Idaho Falls on March 1-2 and Boise State University on March 8-9.

Twenty-eight teams will move on to the state championship tournament March 16-17 in Boise. The championship team from each division will be crowned following matches videotaped at Idaho Public Television on March 17 and broadcast on Saturday, March 20. 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. 17-18 at the University of Idaho’s Student Union Building. Competition on Feb. 17 begins at 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Competition on Feb. 18 begins at 11 a.m.

The East Regional tournament is March 1-2 at the University Place Center for Higher Education in Idaho Falls. Competition begins March 1 at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Competition on March 2 begins at 9 a.m.

The West Regional tournament is March 8-9 at Boise State University’s Student Union Building. Competition begins March 8 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Competition on March 9 begins at 11 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 DOE's strategic goal areas: 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.

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