Students furiously scribbled data on note pads Saturday as they competed at the Virginia Regional High School Science Bowl.
Six-time defending champions Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, of Alexandria, won for the seventh year in a row. They'll get $750 and an all-expense paid trip to the national competition in May.
The teams competed at Jefferson Lab against 20 regional schools, including two from the Peninsula: Grafton High School, of Yorktown, and the Governor's School for Science and Technology, oh Hampton. Both lost in the semi-finals.
Michael Clark, a Grafton senior, said he was simply trying to comprehend the questions as his team progressed to the final eight.
"The level of difficulty of the questions was pretty extreme," said Clark, who competed in the bowl for the first time. "Some of the words were even troublesome for the moderators to pronounce, much less us put it together and give a coherent answer."
Questions covered math and science including astronomy, physics, chemistry and computer science.
Members of the St. Christopher's School team from Richmond won second place and $500. They wore matching red shirts at the competition table, whispering "Yes!" and tapping fists with teammates after each correct answer.
Third place went to Princess Anne High School, Team A, from Virginia Beach. They received $350.
Dawn Chandrasekhar, the Governor's School team sponsor, said her students met every two weeks for a couple of months to prepare for the competition. It was her third time taking a team.
"Every year I hope a little more," she said. "Our team was all juniors, so they can all come back next year."
Submitted: Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 1:00am