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ACPS students qualify for National Science Bowl for eighth straight year

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Science BowlFor the eighth year in a row, a team from Alachua County Public Schools has earned a spot in the prestigious National Science Bowl (NSB).

A Buchholz High School team made up of Andrey Nikitin, Nicholas Dang, Ahan Mishra, Emmanuel Zheng and Michael Wei recently took first place in the North Central Florida Regional Science Bowl, which covers 52 of the state’s 67 school districts.

The team has won an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, DC in April for the National Science Bowl, which is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The National Science Bowl was established nearly 30 years ago and is one of the nation’s largest and most prestigious science competitions. More than 14,000 students compete in the NSB each year.

Another Buchholz team took second place at the regional competition. The members of that team included Terrence Han, Sam Cohen, Abhinav Pothuri, James Jiang and Rishi Gadikota.

The teams are coached by science teachers Marc Moody and Gabriella Bottorff.

Teams from Buchholz have won six of the last eight regional science bowls, while Eastside teams have won two.

Last year’s Buchholz team broke into the top eight nationally for the first time. Moody thinks this year’s group will do even better what with all four starters returning from last year’s team.

“I have watched them go toe to toe with the best teams in the nation and I'm confident that on any given day they could beat anyone,” he said. “This year's group is dedicated, bright, gritty and they have been working towards this chance for years. It has been such a privilege to take this journey with them.”