High school ocean sciences bowl attracts record number of 'sea geeks'
Submitted by Carin Bailey Stephens
Every year, a rigorous high school marine science competition in Seward draws dozens of high school students from across Alaska to answer hundreds of questions about the ocean. This year, with fifteen teams and 70 competitors, the Tsunami Bowl will set a new record.
The Tsunami Bowl is Alaska's regional version of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. The bowl is a daylong, rapid-fire, quiz-style competition, complete with Jeopardy-style questions and team challenge written questions. The bowl will be held next Friday, Feb. 8 and Saturday, Feb. 9.
Last year, nine teams and 41 students competed in the Tsunami Bowl. Juneau-Douglas High School swept the competition, with three teams that took first, second and third place.
"We are thrilled to have so many participants and especially to see new coaches and students from all across the state," says Phyllis Shoemaker, Alaska regional coordinator for NOSB.
With team names like the "Tentacular Nematocysts" from Unalaska, the "Sea Geeks" from Kenny Lake and the "Odd Pisces" from Soldotna, Shoemaker says this year's competition may be the most exciting Tsunami Bowl yet.
This year's teams hail from Cordova, Anchorage, Wasilla, Soldotna, Unalaska, Kenny Lake, Seward and White Mountain, a small village on the Seward Peninsula.
"We are always looking for more high schools and communities to get involved," said Shoemaker. "This is really a wonderful way to encourage marine science education at the high school level in Alaska."
The winning team will compete in the national finals of the NOSB. Another first for this year will be the coming of the national finals of NOSB to Alaska. Hosted by the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the NOSB finals will take place in Seward April 25-27, 2008. The event will bring 25 teams of high school students and 250 volunteers, students, judges and family members from across the U.S. to Alaska.
The National Ocean Sciences Bowl was established in 1998 to encourage learning about the oceans and increase the teaching of ocean sciences in high schools. Support for NOSB is provided by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. The regional competition is supported by the UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, Alaska Sea Grant and the North Pacific Research Board.