Top science students from Virginia compete in 23rd-annual regional ocean science bowl
Catholic High School of Virginia Beach reeled in the top spot during the 23rd-annual Blue Crab Bowl at Old Dominion University’s Higher Education Center on February 8th. Runner-up in a close contest was Seton School from Manassas, while Norfolk Collegiate School (Team A) took third and Churchland High School from Portsmouth took fourth in another intense competition.
The Blue Crab Bowl is the Virginia regional competition of the National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB©), an annual academic contest to test knowledge of the oceans among high-school students. Catholic High School will move on to represent the Commonwealth at the National Ocean Science Bowl on April 16-19 in Long Beach/Gulfport, Mississippi. The theme of the 2020 Bowl and its regional competitions is Understanding Human, Economic and Environmental Resiliency in the Gulf of Mexico.
This year’s Blue Crab Bowl pitted 16 teams representing 14 Virginia high schools from across the Commonwealth. Competing with the top-four finishers were teams from Broadwater Academy (Exmore), Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School (Glenns and Warsaw Campuses), Cosby High School (Midlothian), Fauquier High School (Warrenton), Governor’s School for Science & Technology – New Horizons (Hampton), Isle of Wight Academy, Landstown High School (Virginia Beach), Maury High School (Norfolk), Norfolk Collegiate School (Team B), Patrick Henry High School (Ashland) and York High School (Yorktown).
Dr. Carol Hopper-Brill, the event organizer at VIMS, says the day “included both round-robin and double-elimination contests, and the competitors—70 students in all—vied in more than 45 contests encompassing 10 rounds."
At the end of the long and grueling day, all teams were recognized during the Awards Ceremony by Representative Elaine Luria from Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District. She congratulated the students, applauded their accomplishments, and encouraged them to continue their studies in interdisciplinary STEM subjects. Awards—including custom-made “crab bowl” trophies for the top four teams—were presented by Representative Luria, Dr. Fred Dobbs of ODU's Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and Dr. David Rudders representing VIMS’ Marine Advisory Program. All students received prizes and coaches received science-teaching resources and a membership in the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association.
The Blue Crab Bowl is a cooperative effort between VIMS, William & Mary, and ODU’s Department of Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, with the annual competition alternating between the two venues. More than 70 scientists, including faculty, graduate students, and staff from both institutions, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and other organizations donated many hours of their time to ensure the success of this year’s event.
Virginia’s Blue Crab Bowl was among the inaugural NOSB competitions in 1998. To date, the Blue Crab Bowl has involved 1,850 of the Commonwealth’s brightest science students from 58 public and private schools across Virginia. Hopper-Brill says, “Using questions designed by marine scientists and educators, the contest tests students’ knowledge of oceanography, geology, biology, maritime history, and policy. The Bowl provides a forum for students who excel in math and science to receive regional and national recognition for their diligence and talent.”
The National Ocean Science Bowl is a program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership in Washington, D.C. NOSB seeks to interest students in ocean science as a college major and potential career. Through 25 regional competitions across the nation, NOSB provides an educational forum intended to generate student interest in the ocean sciences; improve awareness of our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes; and create an “ocean literate” society that can meet the ocean challenges of the future. During 2020, nearly 2,000 students from 300 high schools around the country will participate in the 23rd-annual NOSB event.
The Blue Crab Bowl is made possible by the generous support of national, regional, and local sponsors. Sponsors of the 2020 event include VIMS and W&M; Old Dominion University’s Dept. of Ocean, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences; Old Dominion University – Virginia Beach Center; ODU’s Research Vessel Fay Slover; NOAA Marine Operations Center – Atlantic; VIMS Marine Advisory Services Program; Virginia Sea Grant; McGraw Hill Education; the Poddery; Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association; John Wily & Sons; Splendid Sands.com; and Hampton Inn Oceanfront South, Virginia Beach. For a list of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership’s national sponsors, visit the NOSB website at www.nosb.org/.
- Broadwater Academy, Exmore
- Catholic High School, Virginia Beach
- Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School - Glenns Campus, Glenns
- Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School - Warsaw Campus, Warsaw
- Churchland High School, Portsmouth
- Cosby High School, Midlothian
- Fauquier High School, Warrenton
- Governor’s School for Science & Technology – New Horizons, Hampton
- Isle of Wight Academy, Isle of Wight
- Landstown High School, Virginia Beach
- Maury High School, Norfolk
- Norfolk Collegiate School – Team A, Norfolk
- Norfolk Collegiate School – Team B, Norfolk
- Patrick Henry High School, Ashland
- Seton School, Manassas
- York High School, Yorktown