AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – After two years of virtual competition, the “Pantex Science Bowl” held its high school regional event at the AmTech Career Academy.

The competition took place on Saturday, Feb. 4 with 16 area high schools competing.

According to a Pantex Facebook post, the winner of the high school regional “Pantex Science Bowl” is Lubbock High School team 1.

Lubbock High School will join Lubbock’s JT Hutchinson Middle School at the “National Science Bowl” in April and have a chance to win up to $5,000.

The top two middle and high school teams at nationals will be awarded $5,000 for their school’s science department. Schools placing in the top 16 will win $1,000 for their school’s program.

Amarillo High School team 2 placed second and won $500 for their school.

Palo Duro High School team 1 placed third and won $250 for their school.

The “Best Sportsmanship” award was given to West Plains High School along with $250 that will go towards their school’s science department.

Officials said that donations are from the Department of Energy along with Consolidated Nuclear Security.

Pantex Deputy Sight Manager Kenny Steward said the science bowl allows the students to be in a competitive environment but also work as a team.

“There are also opportunities for kids to interact with our Pantex organization, our Pantex personnel, and our hundreds of volunteers that support this. So, opportunities a person may know another person who has a connection that will enable them to take off in a career in the future someday,” Steward said.

Steward explains that having this event allows students to continue to grow and achieve big things in the future.

“It’s important for us to continue and grow the educational bases in Amarillo. A faculty like AmTech here and what the Amarillo Independent School District has done in that. It lays a foundation for these students to grow in experiences and by the time they join their workforce they are miles ahead of what the generation before them was,” Steward added.

Graceson Carthel, a senior at West Plains talked about how the team continued to keep a positive attitude during the competition.

“Like there was one where we had zero points compared to like almost 100 with another team and we were just laughing at the end of it. We were just cracking jokes at the other team and what the officiates and with each other,” Carthel said. “Just trying to keep each other happy and motivated by being friendly. And being like, we’re here to have fun. We’re not here to win. We’re just trying to learn and enjoy ourselves and have this experience together.”

West Plains’ team coach Kayla Koeing gives her take on why the science bowl is important.

“It’s nice for the kids to see that there are so many different aspects that you can use your science degrees and your science knowledge. And it’s not just about engineering, or chemistry or biology, you can use it for multiple different careers here in town without having to travel for it,” Koeing said.