Santa Monica High School captured fourth place at the 19th annual U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl Monday, May 4th, at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C.

Mira Loma High School of Sacramento defeated Lexington High School of Massachusetts to win the high school national championship match.

The members of Santa Monica High’s fourth place team are Toni Rubell, Christina Tsai, Marino Di Franco and Aaron Friedman, and their coach is Ingo Gaida.

Each member of the top four high school and top three middle school teams received a Nspire calculator provided by Texas Instruments. The top 16 high school and 16 middle school teams received a cash prize for their school science department — $1,000 for the high school teams and $500 for the middle school teams.

“I congratulate the teams for their victories in the Department of Energy’s National Science Bowl,” U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said. “The students in this competition displayed an impressive level of skill in a variety of scientific and technical subjects.

“We’re witnessing a resurgence of enthusiasm among our nation’s young people for finding solutions to our climate crisis, and these students embody the excitement and dedication to science that will be a critical factor in transforming the way we use and produce energy.”

More than 500 students from 42 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands competed in the national finals.

Earlier this spring, more than 20,000 students from across the country participated in regional science bowls. Sixty-seven high school and 36 middle school regional science bowl champions received all-expense paid trips to compete in the national finals in Washington, D.C.

The Department of Energy created the National Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage students to excel in mathematics and science and to pursue careers in these fields. More than 150,000 students have participated in the National Science Bowl throughout its 19-year history.