Above, North Hollywood High School students tackle brain-busting math and science questions during the National Science Bowl championship in Washington, D.C. (Photos courtesy of the Department of Energy, Office of Science)

The North Hollywood Science Bowl team is made up of, from left, Coach Altair Maine, students Albert Liu, Alex Ke, Richard Shuai, Dohyun Cheon and Dominick Joo and Assistant Coach Leonard Soloff. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Energy, Office of Science)

North Hollywood High School took second place in the National Science Bowl, a rigorous two-day competition that fielded 65 teams of some of America’s top high school science and math whizzes.

To qualify for last weekend’s national championship, the North Hollywood High team won the regional competition, sponsored by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. It was the team’s 19th regional title in the last 21 years. In 2001, the Huskies went on to win the national title.

Teacher Altair Maine and Len Soloff coach the 2018 team, whose members are Dohyun Cheon, Dominick Joo, Alexander Ke, Albert Liu and Richard Shuai. As the second-place finishers, they won a science research trip to Alaska, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science.

“To have North Hollywood High School win the regional title 19 out of the previous 21 years is a great accomplishment, considering the science rigor and knowledge required in this competition,” Principal Ricardo Rosales said. “To have them place second in the nation shows the determination, dedication and hard work of Mr. Maine and our students.”

Lexington High School from Massachusetts took first, Ardsley High School from New York took third place and Mira Loma High School from the Sacramento area placed fourth.

This marks the fifth national championship trophy for a Los Angeles regional champion. Other local teams that won championships were Van Nuys High School in 1995, Venice High in 1996 and 1997 and North Hollywood High in 2001. In total, LA’s regional championship teams have won 12 national trophies, with teams placing first through fifth over the years.

“This is a tremendous achievement for North Hollywood High School as this is their second National Science Bowl championship,” said LADWP General Manager David Wright. “We are so proud of the hard-working science scholars who demonstrated that they are not only among the best and brightest high school students in Los Angeles but in the nation. They represented our city and LADWP well, and our hats are off to these amazing students.”

The pressure-packed competition was held at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. The students spent the weeks leading up to the contest studying mathematical equations and high-level science in the fields of physics, biology, chemistry, astronomy and earth science.

“Congratulations to the victorious team from North Hollywood High School,” said School Board Member Scott Schmerelson, who represents North Hollywood. “I could not be prouder of the students and their coaches for the discipline and perseverance that it takes to win second place in such a prestigious national competition. Kudos to all!”