Eighteen student interns from various high schools and colleges competed in the Scientific Library’s Ninth Annual Student Science Jeopardy Tournament on July 24, in the auditorium of Building 549, in front of a large crowd of people watching in person and remotely from the Advanced Technology Research Facility.
Competing in teams of two, the nine teams played intently, trying to master the signaling devices so they could respond to the wide-ranging clues. Question topics included ancient science, lives of the scientist, periodic table, anatomy, double-letter science, to name a few. They all did masterful jobs, but, as with any contest, someone came out on top.
Members of Team E, Evan Schauer, a college senior working in the Chemical Biology Laboratory (CBL) under the mentorship of Martin Schnermann, Ph.D., and Jenny Marshall, a college junior also working in the CBL under the mentorship of Joe Barchi, Ph.D., earned the most points and won the competition.
“Playing in the Science Jeopardy Tournament was some of the most fun I’ve had this summer,” Schauer said. “The questions really piqued my interest with general knowledge of science and history. I could feel my heart thundering right before I would answer.”
Earning second place was Team G, high school seniors Erin O’Connor and Tasha Freed. Freed echoed Schauer’s words when she said, “It was definitely one of the most fun activities I've participated in during my time at NCI. It was a great way to meet students from other labs and learn a lot of interesting science trivia.”
College students Logan Bechdel and Katie Cironi (Team A) came in third. The other contestants were Subha Mojumder and Imani McNealy-Ragoobar (Team B); Roxanne Hinch and Astrid Cerrato (Team C); Edward Abel and Daniel Yoon (Team D); Rumeysa Sefik and Ariana Savramis (Team F); Daniel Moriarty and Jules Chabot (Team H); and Luke Forsberg and Jacob Kiser (Team I).
Chabot was a last-minute substitution for Team H, but he didn’t seem to mind. “Even though I was a last-minute participant in the Jeopardy tournament, I had a blast,” Chabot said. “I did not make it to the finals, but I had a great time anyways. It is definitely more difficult than it looks. I'm glad we lost to worthy competitors. I think everyone should give Jeopardy a chance, as it's a wonderful experience.”
New this year was a personal message delivered by previous Jeopardy co-champion Nikhil Gowda, a student intern working with Randall Johnson, Ph.D., in the Genetics Core Laboratory. Not competing this year, Gowda instead became a Jeopardy ambassador. He spoke to the students prior to the start of the tournament, generously sharing his experiences of working as an intern over the last few years, and offering hints on how to successfully play the game. “I would really love to contribute in any way to keep this tradition going.” Gowda said.
The three judges this year were Howard Young, Ph.D., Jim Cherry, Ph.D., and Dina Sigano, Ph.D. Sigano works in the CBL, home of the winning team. “It’s a win-win-win all around,” she said. “I really enjoy it…and I also loved having the bragging rights on our kids.”
The staff of the Scientific Library is looking forward to celebrating 10 years of Jeopardy in 2016, and so are others. Tasha Freed says, “If I'm back here next summer, I fully intend to participate in [the] tenth annual jeopardy tournament, but first I'll have to brush up on my facts.”