Students Participate in Ocean Bowl Competition

Answering questions about marine science and aquatic ecosystems, members of Andover’s Science Club traveled to the Massachusetts Blue Lobster Bowl competition on February 4 and placed eighth out of more than 20 teams from 12 high schools.

According to the Blue Lobster Bowl’s website, the competition is one of 25 annual regional competitions that culminate in the National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB) competition.

The Sea Grant College Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) hosted the regional quiz-bowl-style competition.

Andover brought two teams to the competition, Ocean Bowl A and Ocean Bowl B. The Ocean Bowl A team consisted of the more experienced competitors. Though the teams were separated by skill, they competed in the same tournament.

The tournament consisted of two rounds. In the first round, the team split into four groups and won three of the four games in a round robin.

Despite first round success, Andover encountered defeat in the single elimination second round, a loss which took Andover out of contention for a tournament victory. Lexington High School finished the competition in first place overall.

According to Sunny He ’12, Science Club Board Member, Andover could have been more successful with some more practice and experience. Though the Andover Science Club participated in NOSB last year, it still had unexperienced team members, according to He.

He said, “We chose the teams early on in the year, but we only started preparing for the Bowl at the beginning of the term.” According to He, the teams of five met every Wednesday and Sunday to practice.

He, Emily Field ’13, Gabbi Fisher ’13, David Shin ’14 and Jen Sluka ’13 represented Andover as a part of the Ocean Bowl A team. The Ocean Bowl B team consisted of Gina Sawaya ’13, Kevin Newhall ’13, Josh Kim ’15, Meghana Jayam ’14 and Greg Young ’13.

Student competitors reflected positively on their experience at the tournament. “Going to MIT and meeting students who were currently enrolled in MIT and Harvard was a highlight of my experience,” wrote Jayam in an e-mail to The Phillipian.

Of the 25 regional competitions NOSB holds annually, 11 took place last Saturday. Other competitions were held in California, Michigan, Maryland, Virginia, Mississippi, Wisconsin, Texas, Miane, Rhode Island, Georgia and Ohio.