National Ocean Science Bowl Team to Go to Nationals

Natalie Confer, Staff Writer

There’s nothing more exciting than learning about ocean life, especially when five people who feel very strongly about it compete and end up winning first place.

Quiz Bowl teams specializing in marine science from South Carolina and Georgia came Feb. 4 in Savannah together to compete in the Southern Eastern Bowl, and Wando High School’s team came out the victors. This regional bowl contained 13 teams from South Carolina and Georgia that were all part of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSP). By winning first place in the regionals, Wando’s team gets to compete in the nationals in Oregon in April 20-23rd.

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl is a fun and intelligent way to test someone’s knowledge on all they could know and that’s exactly what Wando High School’s team does best, according to Marine Science teacher Jessica Anderson.

Anderson coached her team — made up of team captain Joseph Hartnett, Reese Alspector, Ariel Lavender, — to the competitions after weeks of practice.

“We try and prep all the time the best we can and always make sure we are on the top of our game when we go to the competition,” Anderson said.

The whole competition was set up as a real life Jeopardy game which made all the teams get more focused and make sure their game face is on.

One of the people on the team who felt just as prepared and focused as everyone else was the captain Joseph Hartnett.

“For the rounds they are set up with three different judges, a science judge, rules judge and a score/timekeeper judge,” Hartnett said. “When trying to answer the questions, you must push a buzzer in time and if saying um or getting it wrong, points are lost,” Hartnett said.

The competition consists of seven rounds of questions that involve marine science, physical and biology chemical, and social sciences.

The team meets every Thursday and discusses and go over marine science videos and take notes to prepare.

Even with all the studying and prepping the team does, Harnett is definitely proud and amazed by how far everyone has come.

Just like Harnett, Anderson was so proud of everyone and how much they put into all of it.

“They were a little nervous but when they got up and started answering questions, it definitely boosted their confidence and they ended up not losing any rounds,” Anderson said.

Although the questions tend to get more and more challenging and intimidating, they ended up getting first place out of all the schools.

“For winning each kid gets a $100 gift card, a t shirt, duffle bag, medal and an all-expense paid to Oregon for our next competition,” Anderson said. “It’s such a huge relief that we won. It was a close score, but it’s nice to see the kids get rewarded for their hard work because of how much time they put into it,” Anderson said.

With the Nationals coming up all the students and Anderson know that the questions will be harder and more intimidating which made them realize they’re going to have to work a lot more and make sure the kids are studying and working on their own time.

“The questions will be more harder and focus a lot more on the theme, which this year is Blue Energy,” Anderson said.

The whole team is very excited and pleased with the progress they have made with making first place instead of second place again and everyone has worked so hard and showed real dedication to everything which has made Anderson and all the teammates ready for Nationals.