“We’re done,” coach Altair Maine said after the team learned that the teams from Colorado and New Jersey – the only schools that had managed to beat North Hollywood – had made it into the second round. “We played two real sloppy rounds,” Maine said. But, he said: “It was a lot of fun. It was a good year.” And the kids learned a lot. How many meters in a yottameter? They know. They can also rattle off the proper names of the three stars of the summer triangle, and they know the chemical name of household bleach. The first four numbers in the 11th row of Pascal’s Triangle? No sweat for Anguel Alexiev, John Chen, Andrew David, Emily Law and James Kim. They have the answer at their fingertips – along with the Haber process for the production of ammonia. WASHINGTON – Quick – calculate the molecular mass of silicon tetrachloride. While you Google to figure out what the heck silicon tetrachloride even is, five of the brightest young science minds in the San Fernando Valley already have the answer. But even with that knowledge, the North Hollywood High School seniors competing Sunday in the 17th annual National Science Bowl could not move past the first round of championship games. The North Hollywood team lost only two out of seven fast-paced quiz rounds, but in the fierce competition among 64 schools nationally it put the team in its division’s third round – just short of being able to move into double elimination. One part “Jeopardy” and one part “Name that Tune,” the bowl is the nation’s largest science competition. More than 12,000 students compete, with about 300 making it into the final round. The winning team wins a science-related trip to its choice of Australia, France or Newport News, Va. Last year, the North Hollywood team placed second. This year, the Southland team of science smarties started out rocky when it lost the first of the day’s competitions to East Brunswick (N.J.) High School, 98-46. “It’s a wake-up round. They need to wake up,” said North Hollywood High School Principal Dr. Randall Delling, who had flown out for the competition. They stormed through the next three rounds, wiping out teams from Illinois, Albuquerque and Sioux Falls, S.D. “That was more like it,” Maine told his team, while ribbing them for missing a question on centripetal acceleration. “This was second week of physics,” he chided. North Hollywood went down again against a team from Fort Collins, Colo., losing 70-144. “That was nasty,” said Lisa David, Andrew David’s mother, who flew to Washington with her family to support her son’s team. They won their final two rounds, but by then they knew the competition was already over. “Maybe it was nervousness because we knew we had to try to not lose another one” after the first loss, said team member Law, the biology whiz of the group. “We’re not too somber or anything,” Alexiev said. “At least there’s no pressure now.” [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!