Keys to Building a Successful Team
Forming an Ocean Sciences Bowl Club
If your school doesn’t already have a math/science/quiz bowl club, start one as soon as possible.
Getting one started usually takes a little effort, but once you get it going, they usually are very
easy to maintain year after year. Also, once you do form one, make sure it is worth the students’
time. Historically, the more successful teams at science competitions are made up of very
enthusiastic students that come from schools with fun, well-organized Ocean Science Clubs.
Don’t let the lack of an ocean science education program in your school deter you from forming
an Ocean Sciences club. Just this past year, one of our winning teams told us they formed an
Ocean Sciences club because they enjoyed participating in the National Science Bowl and
wanted to continue this type of activity. None of the initial team members had any particular
background or education in ocean sciences, but they did have a math and science background
that they applied when preparing for the NOSB.
Selection for your Ocean Sciences Bowl Team can be difficult. Each student should be
knowledgeable in all of the 4 main discipline areas (biology, chemistry, geology and the physical
properties associated with the marine/coastal environment) with some knowledge in the
remaining three areas (social sciences, geography and technology). However, the more
successful teams have students that are more specialized in different areas. For example: Student
“A” might know more about hydrothermal vents and plate tectonics (geological properties) than
the rest of her/his team members. While Student “B” has a stronger background in currents and
wave action (physical properties) than the rest of her/his team. This will give your team a good
balance with an “expert” in each of the 4 main disciplines and 3 sub-disciplines. It is also a good
idea to have a few grade levels represented, not just seniors. By breaking up your team (3-4
junior and/or s