Ocean Science club tests their aquatic knowledge



The 2016-2017 Ocean Sciences club, pictured above, prepares to compete in the annual Blue Lobster Bowl.

Dan Friedman, Staff Writer

A loud “BUZZ!” rings through the air as a member of the Ocean Sciences team hits the buzzer to answer a question while practicing for the Annual Blue Lobster Bowl.

The Ocean Sciences team is a group of students who study to compete against other high schools in an ocean science-themed quiz bowl challenge, hosted by MIT. The Ocean Sciences team prepared all year for the Annual Blue Lobster Bowl held in March.

According to science teacher and club adviser Briana Brown, students study outside of practice and then do mock competitions at the meetings.

Mainly we practice competing. Every week I assign some topic for them to learn about on their own outside of the club. Then we’ll do practice questions and team challenges at our meetings,” Brown said.

The Annual Blue Lobster Bowl is a Massachusetts qualifier for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, the national quiz competition. The high school team has been competing for over a decade in the Blue Lobster Bowl and has had some success within the competition.

Senior Esther Gilbert was on the team last year, where it lost initially, but competed in the science challenge.  

We haven’t won it but we got second in the science challenge,” Gilbert said. “What happens is before the knockout rounds, all the teams compete, and then all the teams who didn’t make it to the playoffs compete in a science challenge where they ask a certain question and you use the software to answer the question as best as you can.”

The Ocean Sciences team competes in a classic quiz bowl fashion.

There are four buzzers for each team, so there are four people who can compete at a time per team. They just read a question and you buzz it as fast as you can and answer it as A, B, C or D, depending on which one is correct,” Gilbert said.

The students on the team have a great time over the course of the school year, meeting on Thursdays after school to hang out and practice for the competition, according to senior Sophie Greer.

It was really fun to prepare for the competition and learn about all these interesting concepts The people in this club are really nice” Greer said. “I like the atmosphere of the competition. It was a little bit competitive, but everyone understands that it’s all in good fun. Everyone is a good sport about it.”

The team works hard to be ready for the competition, but some schools have more intense training

“Some of the other schools treat the club more like a class, so their students are learning about it every day,” Brown said. “They have a class that meets just for science competitions, so it’s really hard to compete with that. We just want kids to be interested in learning more about the ocean. We treat it more as a fun activity than a serious academic sport.”