Blue Crab Bowl

Chesapeake Bay Governor's School-Warsaw wins 2007 Blue Crab Bowl

(February 28, 2007) A team from the Chesapeake Bay Governor's School-Warsaw Campus took top honors in the 2007 Blue Crab Bowl at VIMS on February 24th. The team demonstrated its dominance in marine sciences, capturing first place for the third year in a row.

The Governor's School winners emerged from a field of 16 teams from 14 Virginia high schools attending the event, which represents the Virginia Regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB ©).

Nearly 80 students spent the day in heated competition, testing their knowledge of the oceans and marine sciences. For this milestone event—the tenth Virginia competition—teams came from all corners of the Commonwealth. Virginia's contest is among the inaugural marine science bowls started in 1998 as part of a project celebrating the International Year of the Ocean.

VIMS Director Dr. John Wells welcomed students to the contest and commended them on their hard work. Wells pointed out that the knowledge base, critical thinking, and teamwork skills needed for this competition are "marketable skills" sought after in scientific colleagues.

Using questions designed by marine scientists, the round-robin, double-elimination contest tested students' knowledge of oceanography, geology, biology, and maritime history. Guided by their teacher coaches, students broadened their awareness and understanding of the oceans as they prepared for the competition. 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 First Place team from Chesapeake Bay Governor's School-Warsaw was coached by Angela Gauthier. Team members included students from three schools, representing three different counties:

  • Luke Bessler, Lancaster High School, Lancaster County
  • Jonathan Lee, Essex High School, Essex County
  • Ben Berghuis, Rappahannock High School, Richmond County
  • Anna Pillow, Rappahannock High School, Richmond County
  • Andrew Harbin, Rappahannock High School, Richmond County

In addition to their distinctive Blue Crab Bowl trophy, the First Place team receives an all-expenses-paid trip to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB®), April 28-30, at Stony Brook University on Long Island, New York, where they will represent Virginia as they face 24 other regional champions. The Coach receives a $1,000 Professional Development grant from Virginia Sea Grant to attend the annual meeting of the National Marine Educators Association, this year in Portland, Maine. The team also receives a shipboard experience on Chesapeake Bay to practice gathering oceanographic data, and passes to the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center.

The 2007 Blue Crab Bowl Champions from Chesapeake Bay Governor's School-Warsaw. From L: Luke Bessler, Anna Pillow, Jonathan Lee, Ben Berghuis, and coach Angela Gauthier. (Not pictured is John Andrew Harbin).

Grafton High School took second place in the competition, followed by Bishop Sullivan Catholic High (Virginia Beach), and Chesapeake Bay Governor's School-Glenns Campus. Other competing teams included Amelia County High School; Broadwater Academy (Exmore); Churchland High (Portsmouth), Fauquier High (Warrenton); a "hybrid" team from Fauquier & Liberty high schools (Warrenton and Bealeton); Fredericksburg Academy, James Monroe High School (Fredericksburg), Liberty High School (Bealeton), Louisa County High School (Mineral) Maury High School (Norfolk), Patrick Henry High (Ashland), and St. Christopher's School (Richmond).

The Blue Crab Bowl is a cooperative effort between VIMS, Virginia Sea Grant, and Old Dominion University's Department of Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences and Center for Coastal Physical Oceanography. More than 70 faculty, staff, and graduate students from both institutions donated many hours of their time to ensure the event's success.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB ©), is a program of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research & Education (CORE) in Washington, DC. In partnership with the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA), CORE seeks to interest students in ocean science as a college major and potential career. Through 25 regional competitions across the nation, NOSB also 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 2007, an expected 2,000 students from nearly 400 high schools from around the country will participate in this tenth annual event.

Local sponsors of the Blue Crab Bowl include Old Point National Bank; Chesapeake Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve in Virginia; The Mariners' Museum and NOAA's USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary; Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center; Pizza Hut (Gloucester Point) and Whitley's Peanut Factory.