Science Bowl

Since 2001, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at ISU has hosted the Indiana Regional of the DOE National Middle School Science Bowl each year. The competition normally takes place on the last Saturday in February in Root Hall on ISU's campus. The event is staffed mostly by ISU faculty and students, and receives financial support from ISU's College of Arts and Sciences.


Mr. Derrick Bowman,, senior instructor of mathematics at ISU, is the coordinator for the event. Dr. Jeff Kinne,, professor of computer science at ISU, is co-coordinator. Dr. Henjin Chi, professor emeritus of mathematics at ISU, was the founder of the event.

Volunteers - start here (FAQ)

Teams - information on parking, lunch, etc. is below. The schedule of matches is here - 2024 Schedule and Results.

Competition Format

Teams compete from different schools. A team is 4 or 5 middle school students, with 4 competing at any given time. The moderator reads "toss up" questions from different categories of math and science (see the link to sample questions below), and the first person to ring in gets a chance to answer. When a toss-up question is answered correctly, the team gets 4 points and a chance at a "bonus" question that the team discusses as a team. Bonus questions are worth 10 points. See the link below to the official rules for more details.

All teams compete in a round robin fashion during the morning. After lunch, the top 8 teams (based on results from the round robin rounds) compete in a double-elimination tournament to determine the winner of the region. Teams that are eliminated can stay to watch other matches or compete in "fun rounds" after they are eliminated.

Date and Time

The regional competition is normally the last or second-to-last Saturday in February. The date is normally approved and announced in the summer for the following year. The contest normally begins around 8-9am, with teams arriving at least 15 minutes early to check-in on site. The final match of the contest is normally around 4:30-5pm.

For 2024, the contest will be on Saturday March 2, with team check-in at 8:30am and the last match of the day concluding by around 4:30. Team check-in will be in room A-011 in the basement of Root Hall.


The contest takes place in the basement classrooms in Root Hall on ISU's campus. The address is 424 N. 7th Street, Terre Haute, Indiana 47809. Team check-in is in room A-011 in the basement. See this google map for the location of Root Hall. Note that all parking lots at ISU are free on the weekend (with the exception of gated or metered lots, none of which are very close to Root Hall). There are parking lots close to the department off of 7th, 8th, and 9th streets. For more on visiting ISU, see Visiting ISU or Campus Maps (click "PDF Maps" at the top right).

Detailed Schedule and Results

The schedule of matches for the 2024 contest is linked below. The top 8 teams will continue competing after lunch in a double elimination tournament, with the last match around 4 or 4:30pm. Teams that are eliminated often stick around for a bit to have some "fun round" matches against parents or each other - rooms that no longer have matches in them will be left open for a period of time for this.

The results and schedule from recent years are in the following -

National Competition

The winning team from each regional contest, including the Indiana Regional, is invited to participate in the national contest in Washington, D.C. The Department of Energy pays for the trip for each winning team (team members and coach) to travel to Washington, D.C. The national event is normally during the last week of April or first week in May, from a Thursday to Monday.


The middle school regional contest is for middle school students only (grades 6, 7, 8). A separate competition for high school students takes place in Indianapolis; see High School Regionals for details. Teams must be approved by the school principal. The Indiana Regional normally takes teams from Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.

Refreshments and Lunch

Lunch will be in the Sycamore Dining Hall (401 Chestnut St. and labeled on the google map). Each team coach is given a meal card with sufficient funds for 7 meals (5 team members plus two coaches) at the Sycamore Dining Hall (dining hall serving brunch, buffet style). Family members can join teams and pay for their own meals.

Light refreshments (Square Donuts, fruit, cookies, drinks) are provided in the morning and afternoon for all who are present.


See the official information about the Indiana Regional at the DOE at the link below for information about registering. Registration normally opens sometime in October.

Registration Fee

Coaches should ensure the team registration fee is paid. This can be brought the day of the contest or mailed ahead of time. If paying by check, please make the check out to Indiana State University with Science Bowl in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to

Math and Computer Science, attn Science Bowl
Indiana State University
424 N 7th St.
Terre Haute IN, 47809
If you need a receipt for payment please let us know at the contest.

Rules for Spectators

The following are NOT ALLOWED during competition.

  • Electronic devices
  • Pictures/video (you can take pictures/video before or after matches)
  • Writing
  • Talking/whispering
  • Ringing phone
  • Entering room during match
    You may only enter the room during halftime or in between matches.

The team coach ONLY may keep score on the DOE scoresheet.

The team members ONLY may challenge during the contest, BEFORE the next question.


Historical Results

The winning teams at the Indiana Middle School Regional have been as follows.

  • 2023: Sycamore School
  • 2022: Sycamore School
  • 2021: Sycamore School
  • 2020: Sycamore School
  • 2019: Sycamore School
  • 2018: Creekside Middle School
  • 2017: Sycamore School
  • 2016: Sycamore School (second place at nationals)
  • 2015: Sycamore School
  • 2014: Sycamore School
  • 2013: Creekside Middle School (first place at nationals)
  • 2012: Creekside Middle School
  • 2011: Sycamore School
  • 2010: Klondike Middle School
  • 2009: Honey Creek Middle School
  • 2008: Honey Creek Middle School
  • 2007: Honey Creek Middle School (first place at nationals)
  • 2006: Honey Creek Middle School (first place at nationals)
  • 2005: Honey Creek Middle School (first place at nationals)
  • 2004: Honey Creek Middle School
  • 2003: Honey Creek Middle School
  • 2002: Honey Creek Middle School
  • 2001: Honey Creek Middle School