WASHINGTON - Middle-school students from Treasure Valley Math and Science Center didn't win it all, but still placed in two National Science Bowl competitions.
The middle-school team won fourth place in the academic competition and second place in the model car competition.
A high school team from the Boise school did not make it into the double elimination round, but had a very young team and said it was proud of the middle-schoolers.
The middle-school members sported two pins on Monday: one in the shape of the state of Idaho and another that was a potato to represent the state while in Washington.
"It's a great opportunity for people to compete with a lot of different people from all the different states," said Aditya Shekar, an eighth-grader.
Two schools ended up neck-and-neck for the top high-school prize Monday, after a series of 24 questions.
They were from opposite sides of the country: Mira Loma High School in Sacramento, Calif., and North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham, N.C. And they'd been texting good luck messages back and forth before their final competition.
The winning question asked which damaged cranial nerve would result in a list of specific symptoms, including paralysis of the facial muscle and an inability to wrinkle the forehead. Answer? The eleventh cranial nerve.
Mira Loma answered correctly, taking first place.
The annual contest in Washington, sponsored by the Department of Energy, challenges middle-school and high-school students with questions on subjects including organic chemistry, biology and physics for a shot at winning the competition's check prizes and all-expenses-paid science trips.