ILS Marine Science Students Participate in National Ocean Science Bowl


Seniors Alma Pichardo, Belen Gonzalez, Meghan Swan, Sofia Farres, and Veronica Oliveira (left to right) in their Ocean Bowl shirts at school on Monday after participating in the Ocean Bowl over the weekend.

Sofia Farres, Editor-In-Chief

On Saturday March 27th, seniors Veronica Oliveira, Meghan Swan, Belen Gonzalez, Alma Pichardo and Sofia Farres participated in the Florida Regional Manatee Bowl competition hosted by the Harvard Branch Oceanographic Institute in collaboration with the National Ocean Science Bowl.  

They competed and answered questions about marine biology and geology, chemical and physical oceanography, marine policy and social sciences, geography, and technology. 

The students had been preparing for months in advance with their coach, marine science teacher and STEAM department head, Dr. Shaw. 

They ended up only competing in the first round, missing moving onto the second by one question. 

“I think the even went amazing! Although we didn’t go through to the next round many of us were only reviewing this subject for half of the year in class and we were very close to going on,” said Gonzalez. “It was so much fun participating in this competition and growing closer with the girls on the team,” she continued. 

The competition itself took place virtually and the students spent Friday night on Zoom with the heads of the competition learning how everything was going to work the next day. 

Despite not winning the competition, the students won a raffle and are getting water bottles from Harvard Branch, which will serve as a fun reminder of the time they spent competing together. 

“I think my favorite parts would be when we finished the rounds and got to talk to Dr.Shaw about how we did. It was also really fun to see Dr. Shaw’s reaction when we won the raffle because she was so excited,” said Gonzalez. “My least favorite part was probably that the day ended sooner than we expected, but we still spent time talking together so it made up for the lost competition time,” she continued. 

Overall, participation in this competition was a success and the girls were able to learn more about the ocean, explore their passion for it, and spend time bonding with each other and their coach.