The Oregon Coast Aquarium’s youth team, “Nerdi Nautili,” placed first at the Salmon Bowl for the second year in a row. The win earned each of the five high school students, Genevieve Coblentz-Strong, Abbey DuBois, Noah Goodwin-Rice, Noah King-Groh, and Jeremy Schaffer, thousand dollar scholarships to Oregon State University (OSU). The team will also compete at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl in Washington D.C. this April.
The Salmon Bowl is a regional competition for high school students to compete for a spot at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl. It is a nationally recognized and highly acclaimed academic event managed by The Consortium for Ocean Leadership. Students, teachers, families, coaches, and volunteers travel from all over the states of Oregon and Idaho to participate in and watch the Salmon Bowl at OSU. The program provides a forum for talented and passionate students to test their knowledge of the marine sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, and geology.
The Aquarium sponsored two youth teams at the Salmon Bowl this year, comprising of high
school students from Lincoln County that volunteer in the Aquarium’s Summer Youth Program. Teresa Springer, Oregon Coast Aquarium Youth Programs Coordinator, coaches the youth teams all fall leading up to the event. Rob Edwards, Aquarium Volunteer and Port Engineer at NOAA, serves as the team’s science advisor.
“The students were a little bit more nervous this year because they were defending their first place title,” said Springer. “They’re ecstatic at the opportunity to compete in Washington D.C.—most of them have never been there before!”
To prepare for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, Springer will lead the team in spending the next two months preparing a Science Expert Briefing. The team will present the testimony to a panel of science policy experts, answer multiple-choice trivia questions and solve longer, ocean-related critical thinking challenges.
The Aquarium has participated in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl program for four years. “The competition provides the students with exposure to marine science university programs, ocean experts and policy-makers,” explained Springer. “It aligns with the Aquarium’s mission. These students are looking to take that next step and learn more about the ocean while also diving deep into a possible career.”
For students interested in participating next year or simply in pursuing an interest in marine science, Springer encourages contacting the Aquarium about the Summer Youth Program and/or the Oceanscape Network. Youth interested in volunteering are also invited to the Aquarium’s official Volunteer Recruitment Day on Saturday, April 13.