• Mon. Mar 20th, 2023

Juneau teams sweep at statewide ocean sciences competitors


Mar 17, 2023

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

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

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

A single unique student fired off a series of incorrect answers.

“Blue whale, sperm whale, bowhead whale.”

Easterly stopped him.

“It’s a teeny, tiny porpoise recognized as the vaquita,” she stated. “We do not know for particular, but there are a lot much less than 20 individuals.”

“Oh, I hate it,” stated Peyton Edmonds, 1 of the students, displaying her teammates a vaquita on her phone. “That’s not cute.”

The group practices proper right here three occasions a week, but Tuesday was their initially meeting thinking of the reality that 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 (acceptable)” competed in the final round of 2023’s “Tsunami Bowl. (Photo Courtesy of Shannon Easterly &amp Shelby Surdyk)

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

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

“Right quickly following college, when you are rather tired and you have the A-group sitting acceptable there, you are barely buzzing in. So it can seriously really feel sort of like you do not know a thing,” he stated.

In the heat of the competitors, that changed.

“It certainly shows that you are in reality understanding stuff,” he stated. “You’re in reality starting to create into, 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 far more than a competitors. It is a crash course in all aspects ocean science, with researchers and pros from about the state.

The Juneau teams visited a boat simulator at the Alaska Maritime Instruction 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 investigation portion of the competitors, precisely exactly where teams presented original investigation 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 stated the student investigation efforts are her preferred aspect of the competitors.

“The buzzer is thrilling,” she stated. “But that paper writing and then the possibility to in reality practice public speaking and present your private investigation — to a crowd of not just your peers, but adults from all far more than the state — is certainly significant.”

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 stated that the competitors attracts students who may well possibly not have an interest in ocean science initially. Some join just for the reason that their close close friends join. Other individuals join for a compact bribe — added credit in science class.

“Even if they do not seriously really feel motivated by the competitors, just to appreciate the process of understanding and study that they take pleasure in science, I really feel is a huge reward,” Surdyk stated.

Carlee, a initially year student, says he’ll certainly be back subsequent year.

“I take pleasure in all my other clubs,” Carlee stated. “But NOSB. You certainly seriously really feel like you are clever. And you are understanding 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 stated.

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

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