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Science Bowl

photos by Mayra Beltran, Caller-Times

IWA takes another ocean bowl
School has won four of past five contests
Copyright 2004 Corpus Christi Caller Times. All rights reserved.
by Mike Baird
CORPUS CHRISTI, TX - Feb 29, 2021 - One boy fiddled with the pencil behind his ear while his 15-year-old team captain, Rebecca Gilpin, adjusted her purple, yellow and gold jester's hat. The jingling brass bells on her hat were silenced by a squealing buzzer before another teammate took a deep breath and correctly answered a question about the formation of sediment rock.

More than 90 students on 19 academic teams from 10 Texas high schools hit buzzers to answer hundreds of marine science questions Saturday in the seventh annual Texas Ocean Sciences Bowl at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi.

The winning team, Incarnate Word Academy, answered more than 125 questions correctly for the chance to compete in the three-day national finals in Charleston, S.C., which begins April 23.

The timer sounded in a second-floor room of the University Center at about 9:30 a.m. and five Incarnate Word Academy C-team students jumped up and slapped hands for their second win of the early three-round morning competition.

The Loggerhead Challenge 2004
(Texas Ocean Science Bowl)

First place
Incarnate Word Academy

Second place
Star Charter High School, Austin
McAllen High School, McAllen

Third place
Columbia-Brazoria High, W Columbia
Cumby High School, Cumby
Gregory-Portland High School
James Madison High, San Antonio
Roosevelt High, San Antonio
Taft High School
Ray High School

"It's fun," said Rebecca, who was competing for the first time, as she yanked what she called the "crazy hat" from her long dark hair. "Some of the questions are hard, but I'm not really, really smart."

Many of the competitors on the school's three different teams wore zany hats to conjure team spirit. "We do have spirit," said Colleen Duzich, 48, the school's science academic coach.

Duzich corralled the group to direct them to the next round, held in a first-floor classroom.

This is the fifth year the university has hosted the competition (it was held in College Station from 1998-1999). Incarnate Word Academy won the competition four of those years and the other year it was won by Flour Bluff High School, organizers said.

"It's not only a challenge for students to learn about marine sciences," said Suzanne Dilworth, 32, an organizer who is a research associate with the Center for Coastal Studies. "This competition leads them to be good conservationists, and they get to meet science professionals from state and federal agencies and the university."

The competition held three round-robin morning competitions with multiple-choice questions in individual classrooms. The top eight teams went into double elimination before the final four teams competed in the Lonestar Ballroom in the late afternoon.

About 60 scientific professionals and educators volunteered to work as moderators, judges and timekeepers, in the competition.

"It's going very well," said Jennifer Davidson, 29, an environmental consultant from Houston who volunteered for the third year as a moderator. "There's been a lot of variability with the competitors."

The program helps develop coastal awareness, she said.

"It helps promote careers in the marine environment," Davidson said. "It's great to see young students getting involved in this subject matter."

Read this article in the Corpus Christi Caller-Times online archives.

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