Milken Practices for National Science Competition

A four-student team from Milken Community High School competes against other Los Angeles schools in a mock contest meant to prepare the science buffs for a regional contest on Feb. 25.

was one of 31 schools participating in the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Science Bowl scrimmage on Saturday morning. The event was a series of practice matches held at the agency's headquarters in downtown L.A. and was meant to give competitors the opportunity to prepare for the regional competition held on Feb. 25.

Part of the U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl, L.A. schools will be pitted against one another for the chance to represent the city in a national contest in Washington D.C. on April 26.

The team captain for Milken, Milana Bochkur Dratver, a sophomore, was the youngest of the group, but was far from inexperienced as she led her team to the competition table. She likes the science bowl, Bochkur Dratver told Patch, because it gives her the opportunity to show off her knowledge in a variety of areas of science.
"Some of these subjects like earth science and astronomy, you might not always learn in a classic classroom environment, so it gives you the opportunity to learn it and present your knowledge in an alternative method," Bochkur Dratver said.

Milken team member and junior Arielle Reich admitted she wasn't the strongest in astronomy or earth sciences either, considering the school doesn't focus much of its curriculum on those subjects.

"Those types of questions were difficult for me," said Reich. "But I think we did pretty well. We kind of used common sense for a lot of those type of questions."

They've got more practicing to do, the team admitted, but there's room for improvement.

"I'm not doing very well because I had to familiarize myself with the rules," said senior Daniel Kort. "I was interrupting because I thought it was OK to guess, but it is OK to guess only after the questions are read."

The team fell behind in one of the rounds because of this, Kort said.

"But I think that everyone here is really smart and I'm glad that we're doing this," Kort said. "It's good practice for the actual thing."

Milken junior Joshua Rusheen told Patch that biology and chemistry were his strongest subjects and he felt he did well with questions pertaining them.
"I enjoy looking online and reading new articles about upcoming advances in technology, looking at the different structures of the organs and functions," Rusheen told Patch. "This is just fun for me to compete against other schools."


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