Frequently Asked Questions

General Frequently Asked Questions

Technical Answers to Using Science Bowl Online Application System



  • Why does U.S. Dept. of Energy sponsor the Science Bowl?
    The Dept. of Energy (DOE) is interested in making math and science fun for students to encourage them to pursue studies and careers in math and science. The DOE sponsors many science research projects in all disciplines and has a vested interest in future young scientists. The DOE partners with volunteers and organizations all over the country to coordinate regional events. Visit our website for more background information.
  • Who participates and how?
    In the fall of each school year, middle and high school students form a team of 4-5 students and a coach, who is usually a teacher. Eligibility rules can be found on our website, as well as strategies for preparing your team. A coach may bring up to three teams from the same school IF the regional event allows for multiple teams (check first). The team finds information on their local regional event and registers for the event. Then, the team can practice before the events that are held from January to March. The regional winner from each region is invited to attend the National event in Washington, DC in April/May.
  • How do I register for a regional event?
    On the Regional Competitions page you will be able to find the closest event to you; there will be a link to start the registration process. The coach should handle the registration process. The coach will register the team online. Once you have entered the information, be sure to confirm your registration with your science bowl coordinator, as some events will have waiting lists or cut-off dates. (See end of FAQ list for technical answers.)
  • How hard are the questions?
    The high school questions cover seven categories at a college freshman level. You can study using material from AP coursework, and/or working with teachers or fellow students. Questions are in biology, chemistry, earth and space science, energy, mathematics and physics. The middle school questions are in life science, physical science, earth and space science, energy, mathematics.

    The general rule of thumb is that questions in earlier rounds are easier than questions in later rounds of the competition. Regional questions are generally easier than national questions.
  • What happens at the National Event in April/May?
    Each team that won their regional tournament, 69 high school teams and 50 middle school teams from all over the country, will travel to Washington, DC to compete for the national title. They arrive in Washington, DC on a Thursday and have a full schedule of educational seminars and sightseeing before they start the academic competition. The event takes place at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Maryland. Visit the National Finals page for more information.
  • Other differences?
    Regional events have the flexibility to match their tournament to their local needs, so there is a diversity of student experiences from one location to another. The national event adheres to a more traditional format. For the teams at the national event, there is usually press coverage and an award ceremony to honor the top teams, sponsors, and regional facilities.
  • I've graduated high school but would still like to be involved, what can I do?
    You are a great resource for us to continue the fun of the National Science Bowl® for other students. Please consider volunteering for an event (see next question). NSB alumni are also an important part of each National event; contact NSB National Coordinator if you are interested in attending as an alumni guest. Other options include coaching a science bowl team, giving a science presentation at a science bowl, or helping to coordinate a regional event.

    Note: The Department of Energy has science research internship opportunities for college students in all fields of science and math. Learn more at Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS)
  • I'm interested in volunteering. What do volunteers do?
    Thank you for your interest! It is important to encourage students to enjoy math and science. Please contact your regional coordinator and/or the national coordinator to get more information. Volunteers are needed to be competition officials and assist with the information desk and other logistics. More information on volunteers can be found on our website. There are 5 officials for every competition room and several runners who bring the scoresheets to Science Bowl Central. Officials are: Moderator (reads questions), Scientific Judge (operates buzzer system, judges answers), Rules Judge (watches audience and team, guards scratch paper), Timekeeper (keep time for round and time for answers), and Scorekeeper (writes score on scoreboard). Visit the Volunteers page for more information.

    Any other questions?
    Contact the National Science Bowl® coordinator, Jan Tyler, at or review the National Science Bowl® Website.

Technical Answers to Using Science Bowl Online Application System


  • What does my computer need?
    The Supported Browsers for the online registration includes: IE 9+ (Win) Chrome(Win) Firefox (Win) Safari (Mac)

    Please ensure that your browser settings have the following enabled: cookies enabled; JavaScript enabled; and SSL enabled.