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Midwood’s Ocean Science Team navigates to a top ten finish at National Ocean Sciences Bowl

Posted on Monday, April 25, 2016 by for Ocean Science.

National Ocean Sciences Bowl logo

It is with great pride and pleasure that I post this report on the Midwood High School Ocean Science Team. We had a great time in North Carolina and went on a tour of the Duke University Marine Lab, climbed to the top of Cape Lookout lighthouse, had a nice dinner at the beautiful Crystal Bay Club, and participated in a career night among other activities. We could have done more, but fortunately we were still busy competing and did not get eliminated early. If anyone has any press contacts please help get this positive story about our school heard.

Five students from Midwood competed against other top high school scholars in the 19th National Finals Competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) this past weekend (April 23 and 24) in Morehead City, North Carolina. Midwood gained entrance to the national competition by winning their regional competition, the Bay Scallop Bowl at Stony Brook University, in March. This is the first time students from Midwood have competed in the NOSB and they fared admirably.

4 students seated at the competition desk. 1 student and 2 teachers standing behind them.
Seated: Bart Rosenzweig, Joseph Parziale, Andrew Li, Sam Makarovskiy. Standing: Austin Siu, Alan Stack (administration), Kamil Kraszewski (teacher).

The Midwood Ocean Science team consists of five seniors: Andrew Li (Captain), Samuel Makarovskiy, Joseph Parziale, Bart Rosenzweig, and Austin Siu. The players’ diversity and synergy has been integral to their competitive success. More importantly, these qualities have served to build the beginnings of lifelong friendships. On the flight home Andrew Li said "Midwood has provided me wonderful opportunities and I hope news of our achievement will allow the public to realize how great our Brooklyn school really is."

4 students standing on a decorative planter box. 1 student squatting.
Bart, Joseph, Andrew, Austin, Sam

The Midwood team had to win at least two of four games in the round robin portion of the competition to make the double elimination round, where only the top sixteen remain. The random draw proved to be a difficult one as 3 of the 4 teams Midwood played against ended up in the top ten. Midwood held on to beat Mat-Su High School from Alaska and handily beat Garfield High School from Seattle before facing Boise High School (the two-time defending champion). Midwood led entering the second round of toss up questions but lost a close battle with Boise. Then Midwood faced Albany High School from California, the eventual champions, and after a poor start was down forty points two minutes into the match. Midwood fought back throughout the second set of toss up questions and narrowed the deficit to four points. Had Midwood won this match, Albany High School would have been eliminated before the double elimination rounds.

In the double elimination rounds Midwood lost their first match against Santa Monica High School from California, the eventual 3rd place finisher, but then fought their way onward. Midwood was on the verge of the top eight entering a rematch against Boise. This time Boise held the lead from the beginning of the game and Midwood was tied for 9th. Boise went on to finish 5th.

At the NOSB finals students tested their knowledge of ocean-related topics in the intertwined disciplines of biology, chemistry, policy, physics, and geology. They answer buzzer-style, multiple choice questions, and longer, critical thinking-based team challenge questions. They also participated in a Science Expert Briefing — a mock congressional hearing where they presented science recommendations on a piece of legislation, bettering their understanding on how science informs policy.

5 students seated at the competition desk.
Science Expert Briefing: Joseph Parziale, Samuel Makarovskiy, Bart Rosenzweig, Andrew Li, Austin Siu

The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) is a program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership based in Washington, DC. NOSB seeks to interest students in pursuing a college degree and future career in the ocean sciences. Through this educational forum, the NOSB strives to encourage and support the next generation of marine scientists, policy makers, teachers, explorers, researchers, technicians, environmental advocates and informed citizens, to consider and appreciate the ocean.