MIT Sea Grant College Program, Woods Hole Sea Grant and The National Ocean Science Bowl sponsored the 21st Annual Blue Lobster Bowl on March 4th, 2018. MIT Sea Grant and People Making a Difference (PMD) organized this year’s tournament which included 22 teams from Massachusetts high schools.The teams battled each other in friendly competition, each competing for a chance in the finals. For many of the schools that participated, students would practice once, even twice a week, for months in advance. The sheer amount that students need to know to compete is astounding with concepts that included complex physical oceanography, ocean policy, and marine biology. The Blue Lobster Bowl allows students to explore these technical concepts outside the classroom, giving them the incentive to strengthen critical science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills. The bowl also gives student an opportunity to interact with scientists within the community, the volunteers come from different career paths within the sciences and students get to ask them all about their experiences within their field.The teams eliminated after the morning spend their afternoon competing in the McDowell Science Challenge, a competition that challenges students’ creative problem solving skills. This year’s competition tested students to put all their marine knowledge together to identify creatures in underwater photographs. MIT Sea Grant’s visiting artist, Keith Ellenbogen, a renowned underwater photographer helped design the challenge. Bristol County Agricultural High School won the McDowell Award for Excellence in Academic Collaboration. Pictures from the event can be found on MIT Sea Grant’s Flickr Page.Recognizing 21 years of Coaching During the awards ceremony two exemplary coaches were recognized for their dedication to the Blue Lobster Bowl. Both Douglas Grant from Fitchburg High School Paul McGuinness from Cambridge Rindge & Latin have served as coaches for 21 years. The Blue Lobster Bowl would not be possible without teachers like these two who commit to long hours working with their students outside the classroom. Congratulations and thank you!Many thanks to all the teams, coaches and volunteers who made the 21st annual Blue Lobster Bowl possible!MORE ABOUT THE BLUE LOBSTER BOWLBlue Lobster Bowl question topics include marine biology, chemistry, geology, physics, navigation, geography, and related ocean history, literature, and public policy. In addition to the opportunity for the winning team to travel to the National Finals, teams vie for a variety of prizes, including money for study materials and educational trips. The BLB is part of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), which is a program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership based in Washington, D.C. 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 be stewards of the ocean. Many past NOSB participants have moved on to pursue college degrees and careers in ocean science. For more information, visit National Ocean Science Bowl.