Twenty area high school students are planning to participate in the 29th annual North Dakota Regional High School Science Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 1, in Bismarck.

They are among students from 18 North Dakota high schools who will test their knowledge of science and math for the opportunity to represent the state at the Department of Energy National Science Bowl later this spring in Washington, D.C.

At Saturday’s event, hosted by the Western Area Power Administration, students will be tested on their knowledge of biology, chemistry, Earth science, physics, energy and math in a fast-paced quiz format that requires students to answer questions in as little as five seconds.

Each team is made up of four students, a student alternate and a teacher who serves as an adviser and coach.

The winning team receives a free trip to the national event April 30-May 4.

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Participants from Grand Forks Central High School are Josie Walz, Mikayla Weiss, Dennis Du, Jack Peterson and Jakob Stevenson, with coaches Kylie Laudal and Brittany Bunde. Last year, the Grand Forks Central team took third place.

Students from area schools who are expected to participate are:

From Dakota Prairie-Petersburg High School -- Blake Hanson, Meghan Quanbeck, Hannah Nenow, Garrett Haakenson and Kelland Klefstad, with coach Tryrell Rose;

From Langdon Area High School -- Liberty Cleveland, Ben Girodat, Ryan Boesl, Tucker Regner and Autumn Howatt, with coach Linda Hope; and

From Carrington High School -- Bella Hone, Marah Schmitz, Trevor Hoggarth, Dawsyn Anderson and Max Beumer, with coach Carrie Nichols.

The public is invited to watch the day-long competition, which begins at 8:30 a.m. at the University of Mary, and support the teams. Admission is free.

Last year’s winner, Minot High School Magic City Campus, will defend its title at this weekend’s event.

The Department of Energy started the National Science Bowl, one of the nation's largest science competitions, in 1991 to encourage students to excel in math and science as well as pursue careers in these fields. About 265,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl throughout its 28-year history.