Members of North Hollywood High School's Science Bowl team were honored Friday at City Hall for their second place finish in the national science competition last month.
The five students--four seniors and a junior--beat out some 8,000 others to advance to the final round of the event, in which competitors race to answer questions about astronomy, chemistry, computer science and other subjects.
The North Hollywood team beat out all but one of its opponents in the field of 48 teams in the national competition. Valley High School of West Des Moines, Iowa, won first place.
Coming in second means the North Hollywood squad and its coach will take an expenses-paid one-week trip to the central Rocky Mountains to work with scientists at the Department of Energy's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.
City Council members lavished them with praise and plaques Friday.
North Hollywood High "has been a school that has created an incredibly supportive atmosphere," said Councilman Joel Wachs. "The Science Bowl team is a perfect example."
Team captain Greg Marsden said the key to success was "just taking it one question at a time. We were just happy to be there."
Marsden and another teammate, Emily Kuwahara, are headed to Stanford in the fall. Emily Wang will begin classes at Caltech, and Michael Saji is bound for Harvard. Junior Iris Ahronowitz has one more year to go at North Hollywood High.
Principal John Hyland vowed to return to the Science Bowl championship with more students.
"We're not accustomed to taking second place," Hyland said. "This was a trial run."