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Santa Monica High School Wins National Ocean Sciences Bowl  
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By Lookout Staff

April 25, 2017 -- Students from Santa Monica High School took home the top prize this weekend in the 20th Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), School District officials announced Monday.

The competition tested students from 25 teams in their knowledge of ocean-related topics, including biology, chemistry, policy, physics and geology.

It is the first time Santa Monica High School (Samohi) wins the competition, which included 392 teams composed of some 1,960 students representing 33 states that competed in the regionals.

Samohi Team during finals
Samohi team during finals (Photo courtesy of SMMUSD)

Students on Samohi's team -- which was the only California team to place in the top eight -- were Amy Amatya, Nanki Chung, Rhys Gaida, Ryu Akiba and Josh Sheng. They were coached by Ingo Gaida.

“You can’t help but walk away from this competition feeling inspired and hopeful for the future,” added Kristen Yarincik, program director for NOSB, an interdisciplinary ocean science education program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

“The students put in countless hours, on top of their regular school requirements, and we got to see that all come to fruition this weekend," she said.

The competition consists of "buzzer-style" multiple choice questions and longer, "critical thinking-based team challenge questions," NOSB officials said.

The Finals also included the Scientific Expert Briefing (SEB), "a mock congressional hearing where students present science recommendations on a piece of legislation, enhancing the critical thinking elements of the competition and focusing on real-world skills," officials said.

This year’s theme was "Blue Energy: Powering the Planet With Our Ocean," which focused on the use of marine renewable energy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, "keeping our ocean healthy and productive as it helps meet the world’s growing energy demand," officials said.

“This was an amazing way to celebrate our 20th anniversary,” said RADM Jon White, President and CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. “I’m extremely impressed by the knowledge, sportsmanship, and enthusiasm for ocean science displayed by all of the teams."

As the first place finisher, the Samohi team received and all-expenses paid trip to the coastal states of Georgia and South Carolina, where they will join local experts in conducting scientific research.

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