Friday Harbor students participate in Orca Bowl

Most teenagers hope to spend the weekend catching up on sleep and spending time with friends. But Saturday, Feb. 24, students from around Washington State will instead put their marine trivia skills to the test by competing in Orca Bowl.

Thirteen high schools will face off in the regional component of the 21st annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl. An interdisciplinary ocean science education program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, NOSB is a quiz-bowl style academic competition that tests students’ knowledge of ocean-related topics, including the cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology. Orca Bowl will take place on Saturday, Feb. 24 at the University of Washington Fisheries Sciences Building in Seattle from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The competition theme is “Our Ocean Shaping Weather.” Whether you’re in a hurricane’s path or seeing fewer snowfalls in the Rockies, you can see the ocean’s influence on weather around the country. The ocean absorbs half of the sun’s heat that reaches Earth, influencing weather on a global scale as currents move water and heat around the planet and evaporation of ocean water leads to precipitation. One small change in ocean conditions can produce variations in weather patterns (in the short-term) and climate (in the long-term). Some of the competition questions will focus on this theme.

Students at Orca Bowl aren’t the only ones testing their ocean science knowledge – around the nation, young scholars will compete in 22 other bowls this month. The winner of each regional bowl will compete in the national finals competition April 19-22 at the University of Colorado Boulder (and co-hosted by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences) in Boulder, Colorado.

Confirmed high schools competing in Orca Bowl:

Ellensburg High, Ellensburg

Friday Harbor High, Friday Harbor

Garfield High, Seattle

Getchell High, Marysville

Moses Lake High, Moses Lake

Newport High, Bellevue

Ocean Research College Academy (ORCA), Everett

Shelton High, Shelton

Soap Lake High, Soap Lake

Tacoma Science and Math Institute, Tacoma

Tacoma School of the Arts, Tacoma

White Swan High, Yakima

Winlock High, Winlock

About National Ocean Sciences Bowl

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl seeks to interest students in pursuing a college degree and a future career in the ocean sciences. Through this educational forum, NOSB strives to encourage and support the next generation of marine scientists, policymakers, teachers, explorers, researchers, technicians, environmental advocates and informed citizens to consider and appreciate the ocean. Most high school students do not have the opportunity to study ocean science as part of their formal coursework, which makes NOSB one of the only ways students gain exposure to this field. Many past NOSB participants have moved on to pursue college degrees and careers in ocean science, helping to solve the growing environmental, economic and security issues facing our ocean and planet.

About Consortium for Ocean Leadership

The Consortium for Ocean Leadership is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that represents the leading public and private ocean research education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to shape the future of ocean science and technology. In addition to its advocacy role as the voice of the ocean research and technology community, COL manages a variety of community-wide research and education programs in ocean observing, ocean exploration and ocean partnerships. For more information, visit or

Washington Sea Grant, based at the University of Washington, provides statewide research, outreach, and education services addressing the challenges facing our ocean and coasts. The National Sea Grant College Program is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce. For more info, visit