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Assessment and Restoration Division Scientist Judges First-Ever Virtual NOS Science Bowl Competition for High Schoolers

March 22, 2021 — Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Assessment and Restoration Division scientist Ken Finkelstein took part virtually in the National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB) Northeastern Competition. The annual NOSB competition holds regional events for high school students and invites the winners to the national tournament during the spring. 

Birds flying around a breaching whale.
Seagulls landing on mouth of humpback whale. Image credit: NOAA Stellwagen NMS.

Rather than hold the tournament at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology—our usual location—we used several computer applications to allow the student teams to buzz in when wanting to answer a question. Fourteen high schools entered this year which is less than usual.  Ken serves as one of seven moderators who asks the question for each of nine rounds.

Each of the seven groups of volunteers consists of the moderator, rules judge, science judge, and scorekeeper. All of us from their homes. Although two full weekend days were needed, and technical confusion was a challenge for both the students and staff, the team completed the tournament and crowned a winner!

As always the students greatly impressed the judges, displaying great poise and knowledge of the ocean sciences. 

As he does every year, Ken Finkelstein encourages his colleagues at NOAA to participate in their local National Ocean Science Bowl tournaments. More information can be found online. 

Please reach out to for more information.

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Last updated Tuesday, November 8, 2022 1:40pm PST