Santa Monica High School placed in the top 16 at the U.S. Department of Energy National Science Bowl in Washington, D.C. Saturday, April 30th, through Monday, May 2nd.

Venice High School also competed in the Science Bowl in Washington, D.C, but was eliminated in the early rounds.

The competition involved teams from each high school answering questions about college-level biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, mathematics, earth sciences and general sciences.

“Continued scientific and engineering progress is critical to solving our nation’s energy and other technological challenges,” said U.S. secretary of energy Samuel Bodman.

The U.S. Department of Energy created the Science Bowl in 1991 to encourage high school students to excel in math and science and pursue careers in those fields.

More than 300 students from 63 U.S. high schools competed in the Science Bowl after winning regional competitions.

The team from Santa Monica High School included junior ZeNan Chang, senior Areeb Pirani, sophomore Bennett Rankin and senior Jesse Zaretsky.

For placing in the top 16, the team won $1,000 for the high school science department.

The students were coached by Ingo Gaida, who has taught biology, marine biology, statistics, art history, psychology and economics for 12 years at Santa Monica High School.

They competed in the Science Bowl after winning a regional competition sponsored by Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

The team from Venice High School included seniors Andrew Bernstein, Lorenzo D’Amico, Nicole O’Keefe, Jonah Rosenthal and Seth Rotkin.

They were coached by Richard Erdman, who has taught biology, environmental science and chemistry for 35 years at Venice High School.

They competed in the Science Bowl after winning a regional competition sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP).

Venice High School won National Science Bowl titles in 1996 and 1997.

The DWP was the regional championship sponsor for the Santa Monica and Venice team trips to Washington, D.C.

“We are proud of the success of the regional championship teams,” said Ronald Deaton, DWP general manager.

“Our volunteers and staff are consistently amazed at how much complex science and math content the students have mastered,” he said.