BOISE -- Middle schoolers from around the valley converged on Boise State Saturday to test their science knowledge against each other.

It's fast-paced Jeopardy style kind of questioning, said Tony Baca.

Baca is one of the event coordinators for the Middle School Regional Science Bowl, which drew seven teams from Caldwell, Nampa, Boise, and Notus.

The subject matters are quite broad, all math and science, said Baca.

You barely hear the question, before they come up with the answer, said Mark Anderson, another coordinator for the Bowl. The competition is pretty fierce.

Amy Truksa is the mom of a competitor, and the Director of the Whittenberger Planetarium. It's just fun.

She's excited that her son has a natural curiosity about science. Whether he ends up going into science or not, I think it's just too important for people across the population to have a more solid understanding of science.

There is a shortage of kids getting into math and science, reports Anderson.

That statewide and national shortage is why Anderson says this competition is important. It's really inspiring.

That's why Anderson and Baca say just getting all kids more interested (and then more knowledgeable) about science and math is so important. That's so the next generation can lead the way in science and engineering for the state, the nation, and the world.

Coordinators also wanted to thank their devoted army of volunteers, and also their main sponsors, Boise State, Micron, Hewlett Packard, and the US Department of Energy. The coordinators admit those are some agencies where the competitors could end up in a few years.

The winning teamwas from the Treasure Valley Math and Science Center.They now go on to Nationals in Washington D.C. at the end of April.

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