Center for Lung Biology's Annual Lung Bowl Competition

The Lung Bowl is a biology game based on a jeopardy model, where teams come together to compete against one another for high scores. Teams consist of 4-5 members and include graduate students, doctoral program students, pulmonary and critical care fellows, and post-doctoral fellows in the USA Center for Lung Biology.  Teams compete to answer story problem questions, speed round questions and a final jeopardy question.


The Lung Bowl is a training exercise that builds the pulmonary community. This annual event gives our students opportunities to interact with others from various disciplines, all of whom are interested in central issues related to lung physiology and lung pathology. This is a new attempt for us to bring our education programs to an even higher level to compete at a national level for training. This is something that we’re emphasizing on both the clinical side and the basic science side of medicine. It’s a fun competition among peers.

The Game

Stems for the competition are emailed to all participants the day before the Lung Bowl, giving the competitors just 24 hours to prepare for the questions that lie ahead. Participants arrive ready to test their wicked lung skills. They arrive to find team pairings. The first order of business is to generate team names.

  • Round 1: Individual team members are given 10 minutes to answer 5 questions, and these responses are turned in and graded. Correct individual answers are worth 1 point, meaning that each team could accrue a maximum of 25 points (1 point per question x 5 questions x 5 team members) for correct individual answers.
  • Round 2: Teams are given an additional 15 minutes to provide the team response. Correct team answers are worth 10 points per question, meaning that each team could accrue a maximum of 50 points (10 points per question x 5 questions).
  • Stems: Every stem is worth a total of 75 points, so once all the stems are completed, teams have the potential to earn 300 points (75 points per stem x 4 stems). A running point total is kept by our volunteer score keepers. Teams assess their standings after each stem.
  • Speed Rounds: There are 5 speed rounds in total. In a speed round, participants – 5 at a time (i.e. one per team) - walk to the front of the room with a lung bowl paddle. A question about the pulmonary sciences is read, and the first person to raise their paddle is given a chance to answer. Ten seconds is allocated to respond. If no one responds within 10 seconds, then we move on to an alternative question. Correct answers earn 10 team points. With incorrect answers, 10 team points are deducted. A total of 50 points is awarded in this round.
  • "Final Jeopardy": After all of the stem and speed rounds are completed, teams meet for one final question. In this “final jeopardy” round, teams wager any number of the points accrued against a final answer. With the correct answer the designated number of points are added to the team total, and with the incorrect answer the designated number of points are subtracted from the team total. Scores are tallied after the final jeopardy round and a team winner is declared.

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