For a record 5th year in a row, Bishop Sullivan High School of Virginia Beach took top honors at the Annual Blue Crab Bowl on March 3.
The daylong event—co-hosted by the Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Old Dominion University—is the Virginia Regional Competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB®). The marine science academic tournament showcases some of the Commonwealth's most talented high-school students as they display their mastery of oceanic knowledge.
Coached by science teachers Carol Stapanowich and Bill Dunn, the Bishop Sullivan team includes Walker Olsen (Captain), Matt Foley, Cameron Forren, Josh Taylor, and Will Harris. The team received a Blue Crab Bowl Trophy and other prizes in recognition of their success at the event, which took place at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
A total of 16 teams competed in this year's tournament, the 15th Annual Blue Crab Bowl. Other top placing teams were Chesapeake Bay Governor's School (Glenns) in second place, Seton School Team A (Manassas) in third place, and Grafton High School (Yorktown) in fourth.
The first-place Bishop Sullivan team earned the right to compete in the National Ocean Science Bowl Competition on April 19-22 in Baltimore, Maryland, but will be unable to participate due to an academic scheduling conflict. The second-place Chesapeake Bay Governor's School team will compete in their stead.
Students who participate in the Blue Crab Bowl prepare through class work and extracurricular study with their science teachers, who serve as coaches. Students explore marine science topics, practice thinking on their feet, and develop team and analytical skills for the competitive quiz bowl setting.
The Blue Crab Bowl is Virginia's regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl and one of the 15 founding competitions. The Blue Crab Bowl aims to encourage students' understanding and awareness of ocean sciences, including oceanography, geology, biology, maritime history, and marine policy.
The Blue Crab Bowl is the result cooperative effort between the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences and the Department of Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences at Old Dominion University. More than 70 faculty, graduate students, researchers, and support staff volunteer their time to officiate and manage the event.
This year's Blue Crab Bowl was made possible by the sponsorship of national, regional, and local sponsors. Regional and local sponsors included ODU’s Office of University Events, Webb University Center, ODU’s Pretlow Planetarium, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Virginia Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program, Leave Only Bubbles/What If Scientific, Hampton Inn-Naval Base Norfolk, Nauticus, the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association, and the National Marine Educators Association.
During the Awards Ceremony, all teams were recognized with awards presented by Dr. Roger Harvey, Chair of ODU’s Department of Ocean, Earth and Atmospheric Science; Dr. Victoria Hill, ODU’s Coordinator for the Blue Crab Bowl; and Dr. Carol Hopper Brill, Bowl Coordinator for the Virginia Institute of Marine Science. Dr. Harvey addressed the audience of close to 200, applauded the students’ accomplishments, and encouraged their continued studies in interdisciplinary marine sciences.