Five students from Hopkins Junior High School in Fremont reached the Final Four in the National Science Bowl on Saturday in the nation's capital but was ultimately edged out by teams from Maryland and Indiana.

Hopkins students and seventh- and eighth-graders from the private Harker School in San Jose both made it to the competition's final stages, beating out dozens of competing schools by correctly answering a barrage of questions about everything from astronomy to physics.

Harker students reached the Elite Eight. That meant that both Hopkins and Harker went far enough in competition to bring back $1,000 for their schools' science departments.

Since 1991, the National Science Bowl, sponsored by the Department of Energy, has been held to inspire middle schoolers and high schoolers to move into math and science career paths.

Members of the Hopkins team are Tomas Choi, Sayan Ghosh, David Hsu, Jeffrey Liu and Catherine Zeng.

Students Edgar Lin, Rajiv Movva, Venkat Sankar, Arjun Subramaniam and David Zhu represented the Harker team.

At the event, middle school competitors have to correctly answer a rapid-fire succession of questions on a broad range of scientific topics. They are also judged on electric cars they have designed and built.

Teams from Creekside Middle School in Carmel, Ind., and Takoma Park Middle School in Silver Spring, Md., will face off in a championship competition at the National Building Museum on Monday morning.


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This year's National Science Bowl initially involved 9,000 high school students and more than 5,000 middle schoolers on 1,023 teams who participated in regional competitions across the country leading up to the final awards ceremony.

Since the Science Bowl's inception, more than 225,000 students have joined the competition, many moving on to careers in the fields of math and science.