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High school students compete in Ocean Sciences Bowl


Seward, Alaska—Tiger Sharks, Hammerheads and Nefarious Dawgsharks will be visiting Seward this weekend, as well as the Echinoderminators, Flamin’ Krakens and Cexy Cnidarians.

It’s not an invasion or an infestation; it’s the 15th annual Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Twenty-one teams of ocean-minded high school students from across the state will be in Seward vying for glory and scholarship money March 2 – 4. The winning team from the Alaska regional contest, also called the Tsunami Bowl, will be eligible to advance to the national competition this April in Baltimore, Md.

Event organizer Phyllis Shoemaker, of the University of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, expects about 120 students and 100 volunteers to be involved.

The competition kicks off with a new twist: On Friday, teams will have less than two hours to design, build, test and complete underwater tasks with a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV.

Hutchinson High School is the competition’s only new school this year and is the first team from Fairbanks to enter the fray. Team coach and high school science teacher Megan McCarthy said the team is “just getting their feet wet” by competing only in the quiz bowl portion this year. Alaska is unique among regional competitions because the teams’ scores are derived from two components: the quiz bowl results and a research project.

A Juneau team has won the competition for the past five years. Other Alaska communities participating include: Cordova, Dillingham, Fairbanks, Homer, Juneau, Kenny Lake, Ketchikan, Kotlik, Kotzebue, Petersburg, Scammon Bay, Seward, Unalaska and Wasilla.

In addition to the scholarship opportunities usually offered, this year Icicle Seafoods donated $25,000 to be awarded as five $5,000 scholarships to Tsunami Bowl participants.

ADDITIONAL CONTACTS: Phyllis Shoemaker, UAF School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, at 907-224-4312 or via email at phyllis.shoemaker@alaska.edu.

ON THE WEB: www.sfos.uaf.edu/nosb/

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