Out of 16 Science Bowl teams that traveled to Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah to compete in the state championship, Walton High School’s team earned the title over Westminster School in Atlanta.
Richard Blackstone, a science teacher at Walton, is the volunteer sponsor for the Science Club at the school and meets with the students weekly as they work to prepare for upcoming competitions and bowls. As a teacher, Blackstone enjoys working with the students who are anxious to learn more for personal benefit and dig deeper in the subjects that interest them most.
“I enjoy working with exceptional students outside their usual academic comfort zones, learning things that don’t get them AP credit,” Blackstone said.
He also notes that this program is exceptionally beneficial to its student members.
“I think the main benefits to the students are the connections they make with each other, learning to work together in teams, and learning how to put together insights from different areas of science to solve problems,” Blackstone said.
Blackstone is in his ninth year of teaching at Walton, and he believes the biggest reward he has gotten from participating in the program is getting the opportunity to watch the students continue to connect with each other and keep in contact with him and the program after graduation and into their college years. With students all over the map — MIT, Cal Tech, Stanford, Harvard, Georgia Tech, and Duke —Walton’s Science Club is building connections that go beyond competition day.
The Science Club at Walton, including Science Olympiad and Science Bowl, has approximately 30 members. Fifteen of those members are involved in the Science Bowl. The bowl is a quiz competition, and the top three or four teams in sub-regional are sent to the state championship. Walton begins their competition year with their annual Invitational Science Competition which is run by the students, usually with former members of the Science Club, returning as judges.