Santa Monica High School's regional Ocean Sciences Bowl team, from left to right: Coach Ingo Gaida; Rhys Gaida; Amy Amatya; Nanki Chugh; Ryu Akiba; and Josh Sheng. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
The National Ocean Sciences Bowl, coordinated by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, is in many ways similar to the National Science Bowl but focuses specifically on ocean-related topics. The competition is comprised of three elements: a round robin competition, critical thinking based team challenge questions, and a double elimination competition. Student teams compete nationwide, answering questions about biology, chemistry, geology and physics of the oceans, as well as navigation, geography and related history and literature.
The 2017 Los Angeles Regional Competition called “Surf Bowl”, was held on Saturday, February 25, 2017, at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA. Santa Monica High School squeaked out a win by just two points.
The annual event, held at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, is now in its 18th year. Students from a dozen Southern Californian schools tested their knowledge of marine science facts. Those ranged from knowing the different parts of a sea star's tube feet, ocean policies like the Truman Proclamation and the effect of offshore energy production on marine life.
The top winners were Santa Monica High in first, Arcadia High in second and Temple City High in third. SMHS found themselves evenly matched with Arcadia High's team in a final round, with each team's score creeping forward until the last couple questions.
The win means Santa Monica High will advance to the national competition in Corvalis, Oregon, April 20-23, 2017.