Mon. Mar 27th, 2023

The Juneau Douglas ocean science bowl group visited the Alaska Sea Life Center in Seward in the course of the “Tsunami Bowl” in March 2023. (Photo Courtesy of Shannon Easterly &amp Shelby Surdyk)

Immediately after college, empty pizza boxes lay stacked on a lab bench in Shelby Surdyk’s science classroom. The smell lingered as Juneau Douglas Higher School’s ocean science bowl group waited for coach Shannon Easterly’s subsequent query.

“What is the most endangered cetacean?” she asked.

A single student fired off a series of incorrect answers.

“Blue whale, sperm whale, bowhead whale.”

Easterly stopped him.

“It’s a teeny, tiny porpoise referred to as the vaquita,” she mentioned. “We do not know for certain, but there are significantly less than 20 people.”

“Oh, I hate it,” mentioned Peyton Edmonds, one particular of the students, displaying her teammates a vaquita on her telephone. “That’s not cute.”

The group practices right here 3 instances a week, but Tuesday was their initial meeting due to the fact their win at Alaska’s “Tsunami Bowl” earlier this month. It is a statewide ocean science competitors. This year, in Seward, the college swept the buzzer-style competitors — the third year in a row that Juneau has won.

“Rest-A-Shored (left)” and “Free Radicals (appropriate)” competed in the final round of 2023’s “Tsunami Bowl. (Photo Courtesy of Shannon Easterly &amp Shelby Surdyk)

The freshman group, “Yeah, Buoy,” won initial spot in their division, though A-group “Free Radicals” and B-group “Rest-A-Shored” faced off in the final round to win initial and second spot, respectively.

Carson Carrlee, captain of Yeah-Buoy, was shocked. He mentioned competing in Seward felt unique from practices.

“Right following college, when you are incredibly tired and you have the A-group sitting appropriate there, you are barely buzzing in. So it can really feel sort of like you do not know something,” he mentioned.

In the heat of the competitors, that changed.

“It seriously shows that you are basically mastering stuff,” he mentioned. “You’re basically beginning to come to be, like, sort of a scientist-ish.”

The Tsunami Bowl, which was hosted by the University of Alaska Fairbanks College of Fisheries and Ocean sciences, is a lot more than a competitors. It is a crash course in all points ocean science, with researchers and pros from about the state.

The Juneau teams visited a boat simulator at the Alaska Maritime Coaching Center, attempted a tsunami evacuation drill and went behind the scenes at the Alaska Sea Life Center.

The A and B-teams also participated in the analysis portion of the competitors, exactly where teams presented original analysis papers and oral presentations. This year’s theme was mariculture in Alaska.

Juneau’s students focused on the farming of geoducks, sea cucumbers and oysters. Easterly mentioned the student analysis efforts are her preferred aspect of the competitors.

“The buzzer is enjoyable,” she mentioned. “But that paper writing and then the chance to basically practice public speaking and present your personal analysis — to a crowd of not just your peers, but adults from all more than the state — is seriously worthwhile.”

The Juneau Douglas “Free Radicals” will go on to compete at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl in 2024. (Photo Courtesy of Shannon Easterly &amp Shelby Surdyk)

Surdyk joined as a coach final year. She mentioned that the competitors attracts students who could not have an interest in ocean science initially. Some join mainly because their pals join. Other folks join for a modest bribe — further credit in science class.

“Even if they do not really feel motivated by the competitors, just to love the method of mastering and uncover that they enjoy science, I assume is a substantial reward,” Surdyk mentioned.

Carlee, a initial year student, says he’ll unquestionably be back subsequent year.

“I enjoy all my other clubs,” Carlee mentioned. “But NOSB. You seriously really feel like you are wise. And you are mastering stuff.”

And the ocean science bowl gets students to stick with STEM education, Easterly says. Tuesday’s practice was proof.

“We didn’t even inform them there would be pizza. And they came anyway,” she mentioned.

Subsequent year, Easterly will take the Free of charge Radicals A-group to the National Ocean Sciences Bowl competitors, exactly where they’ll compete against the winning teams from across the nation.

By Editor

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