Science team places well at Blue Lobster Bowl

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”courtesy Ann Dannenberg” align=”alignnone” width=”300″][/media-credit]

Science team members pose for a photo after the Ocean Bowl.

by Alex Feit

Members of this school’s science team finished in second place out of 12 teams at the regional Blue Lobster Bowl competition Saturday, Feb. 4. Members also competed at the final West Suburban Science League season meet Thursday, Feb. 9.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology sponsored the Blue Lobster Bowl, which was the regional round of the national Ocean Bowl science meet. The competition focused on proficiency in ocean science. Participants competing in the Bowl were tested on their knowledge of all concepts related to the world’s oceans, including marine biology, marine chemistry and physical oceanography, according to science teacher Ann Dannenberg, an adviser for the team.

The competition was as a quiz bowl, in which a moderator asked trivia and open-response questions of individuals and of teams, Dannenberg said.

This school’s four person A-team beat rival and former state champions Lincoln-Sudbury and finished behind Needham, according to Dannenberg.

The C-team secured a fifth place finish in the competition as well, she said.

“There was enormous team spirit and excellent sportsmanship exhibited by all of the North participants,” Dannenberg said.

Rebeca Burdeinick-Kerr, a parent coach for the Blue Lobster Bowl, said that she “cannot stress enough that every member was absolutely essential for the successes at MIT.”

According to Cole Kerr, the captain, it was the first time that the team had ever beaten Lincoln-Sudbury and the first time it finished in second place at the Blue Lobster Bowl.

“All in all, it was a triumph. We made Ocean Bowl history,” Kerr said.

At the WSSL meet, science team members competed in four events: Quantum Quandary, a quantum mechanics quiz; 13 Mystery Solutions, an event where competitors had to identify 13 unlabeled chemicals; Boomilever, a cantilever bridge construction event; and Robot Arm, in which the team built a mechanical arm to transfer materials from a platform up into another box.

This school finished 12th out of 16 teams at the WSSL meet. The meet did not go as well as planned, according to junior Jacob Fauman, WSSL captain.

“February is a very challenging month for many science team members,” Fauman said. “There was the Ocean Bowl to study for as well as the AMC, a math competition in which many science team members, myself included, participate in. Studying was rushed or non-existent, and some competitors had to extemporize the event.”

Moreover, the team was disqualified from the Robot Arm competition because a passerby accidentally broke the machine, he said.

Because of the complexity of organizing the team during February,  Fauman added that “failure was rather predictable.”

In spite of the team’s poor performance at the WSSL meet, it still managed to place fourth in the league for the season, an improvement over last year’s fifth place finish, Fauman said.

The team will compete Saturday, March 3 at the Science Bowl at UMass Lowell and Saturday, March 17 at the Science Olympiad at Framingham State University.