Friday, March 20, 2009

Engineering Students Aim to "Bowl" Over Rivals During Academic Competition

They came.

They saw.

They conquered.

Now, they’re hoping for a repeat.

When members of UC Merced’s National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) student chapter competed in the organization’s western regional Academic Tech Bowl in Washington last fall, they won first place, besting teams from Stanford University, USC and UCLA.

Not bad, given it was the engineering students' first time participating in the rigorous, Jeopardy-style competition that tested participants’ engineering knowledge.

The students will try to snare a national title as they head to Las Vegas for NSBE’s 35th Annual National Convention, March 25-29. The national Tech Bowl takes place during the convention. Team UC Merced will take on finalists from five other regions: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, North Carolina A&T State University, Georgia Institute of Technology, Northwestern University and Texas A&M University.

Hoping to outwit, outsmart and outplay their competitors, bioengineering major and Tech Bowl team captain Anley “T” Tefera said he and his teammates are looking forward to a spirited competition. “We’re better prepared than we were for the regional competition,” he said. “It’s exciting.”