High school teams to make annual pilgrimage to Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl
Contact: Phyllis Shoemaker,
Alaska Coordinator, National Ocean Sciences Bowl, University of Alaska
Fairbanks, School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, 907-224-4312.
2004 Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl
Paul T. Albert Memorial
School, Tununak, Alaska
Photos from 2003 competition are available
by contacting Doug Schneider.
Alaska—High school students across the state are busy cramming
last-minute facts about Alaska's oceans into their brains and polishing
their public speaking skills as they ready themselves for the Seventh
Annual Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl that begins February
the Paul T. Albert Memorial School in Tununak, a remote village next to
the Bering Sea in Southwest Alaska, team coach Mike Keefe says his five
students have lately been practicing for the oral presentation of their
"This is the first year for Tununak at the
Ocean Sciences Bowl," said Keefe, a two-year veteran of teaching in
rural Alaska. Keefe came to Alaska from Chicago, but grew up in
Minnesota. "My students haven't had a lot of opportunities to speak in
public, but they are going to give their presentation to the school
board. They're a little bit nervous but they are looking forward to
The 2004 Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl takes
place in Seward, February 20–22, at several venues including Seward
High School, the Alaska SeaLife Center and the University of Alaska
Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences K.M. Rae Building.
teams from 12 Alaska high schools are registered to compete. Students
from big and small schools, urban centers and remote villages alike
will match wits during the three-day event that includes a
jeopardy-style ocean knowledge quiz, presentations of research projects
and a marine-theme art show.
In all, teams from Anchorage,
Bethel, Cordova, Homer, Juneau-Douglas, Mat-Su, Ninilchik, Selawik,
Seward, Soldotna and Tununak will square off.
The knowledge quiz
is a round-robin/double-elimination match. In each match, two teams
compete against each other and the clock to answer questions.
Contestants also must answer complex questions that require critical
analysis. Up to 50 percent of the event's points are awarded during the
The other 50 percent of the points are earned
during the research project phase of the event. Months prior to the
competition, teams selected a research topic centered on the question
of how contaminants may be affecting Alaska's marine ecosystems. At the
Ocean Sciences Bowl, each team will be judged on the completeness of
their reports and oral presentations of their findings.
prizes will be awarded in the competition. Each member of the team
placing first overall will receive a one-year tuition waiver from the
University of Alaska Fairbanks. Each member of the winning team also
will get a $1,000 scholarship to the Coastal Studies Semester at Hood
College in Maryland. Additionally, the overall winning team receives a
trip to Charleston, South Carolina, to compete in the national finals
against other regional winners from across the country.
also are invited to participate in a juried art show during the Ocean
Sciences Bowl. Paintings, drawings, photography, three-dimensional
pieces, sculptures, pottery, jewelry, mixed media, fiber and collage
works will be judged. The art show is held in conjunction with the
other events but is not part of the Ocean Sciences Bowl. Awards will be
given for Best of Show, as well as first, second, third and honorable
mention in each category.
Of course, not every team can win the competition. That's okay with Tununak coach Mike Keefe.
think we have a very good chance of winning, but my hope also is that
they gain an understanding of how the ocean affects their lives every
day, and how their actions affect the ocean," Keefe said.
Alaska Region National Ocean Sciences Bowl is sponsored by the
Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education (CORE), University
of Alaska Fairbanks School of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences, the Alaska
Sea Grant College Program, and the Alaska Student Ocean Conference. The
National Ocean Sciences Bowl is sponsored by CORE in partnership with
the National Marine Educators Association (NMEA).