Best of Brooklyn: BASIS Independent Brooklyn

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RED HOOK -

Sixth- and seventh-grade students from BASIS Independent Brooklyn fell just short of moving on in this year's Department of Energy National Science Bowl.

"Initially, I was nervous, because there were so many other teams," says Kesar S., one of five students from the school who had hoped to make it to the next round in Washington, D.C. "Everyone was much older than us -- and taller."

For the first time, the students competed at the regional competition in January, squaring off with 10 other New York City teams of sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. The BASIS team finished second.

"I'm super proud of them," says teacher Joshua Winter. "I felt like we were the underdogs, because we were clearly the least experienced team. But seeing an underdog succeed is great."

Each year, the National Science Bowl draws more than 14,000 middle and high school competitors. Organizers say they aim to inspire students to become the next generation of astronauts and scientists.

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