Strong teamwork and a solid foundation of science knowledge propelled Rogers Heights Elementary to a 330-110 win against Cesar Chavez Elementary in the last quarterfinal round of the 2012-13 Science Bowl season.
With the win, the Bladensburg school takes the final open berth in the Science Bowl semifinals and will face Cora Rice Elementary.
This is the first time the team has made it to the semifinal round in at least several years, sponsors Patricia Brown and Jeanine Cummings said.
Although Hyattsville’s Cesar Chavez took an early lead with its correct answer of a presidential waterfowl — a lame duck — the Rogers Heights team quickly took the lead, finishing the first half with a 105-75 advantage, which they extended after the halftime break.
“Cesar Chavez seemed to know the answers many times, but they just weren’t as quick on the buzzer,” Science Bowl host Dave Zahren said.
Sixth-grader and team captain Adrian Seemangal, returning to the show for his second year in a row, proved a tough competitor.
“He didn’t require too many clues to come up with an answer. He missed very few,” Zahren said. “It also testifies to what experience does. He’s been here before, so he knew the format. He’s heard the kind of questions we ask, so he knew what to expect.”
Adrian said part of his strategy was to hold the buzzer upside down, and slam it on the table when he knew the answer.
When he didn’t have an answer, fellow sixth-graders Giselle Campos and Erma Blanco quickly aided him, as they did when they both gave Seemangal the answer to a question on Einstein’s Theory of Relativity.
“We went over it just this morning. It was just coincidence,” said Campos.
“The high point of that game for me was when they both leaned in and whispered as loud as they could, ‘speed of light,’” Zahren said. “It was that kind of insistence and confidence that really won it.”
The team practiced by studying old episodes and dividing up areas of expertise, Seemangal said.
“That way we could cooperate to get the right answer,” Seemangal said.
“They also worked on listening for key words in the question, discussing it as a team and coming to a consensus. That was our biggest strategy, and they worked hard on the research of certain topics. Everyone became an expert in certain areas,” Brown said. “They’ve been working really hard, and it shows.”
Prior to the match, Rogers Heights scored a 275-125 win against Oxon Hill’s Barnaby Manor Elementary team of Montana McMichael, Ezra Ramirez and Ronaldo Gonzales.
The Cesar Chavez team of David Sanchez, Diana Zalaya and Natalie Carcamo earned the right to battle Rogers Heights for the semifinal spot after defeating Adelphi’s Mother Jones Elementary team of Joshua Martinez, Bryan Gomez and Melissa Montero by a score of 245-180 in an earlier match.
“They’re an awesome team, and I’m super proud of them,” team sponsor Evely Quinones said.