PORT ARANSAS, Texas – This past Saturday, February 7, 2015 ten teams from eight schools throughout South Texas competed for the opportunity to win the Loggerhead Challenge. The Loggerhead Challenge is the Southern Texas Regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) and is hosted by Texas Sea Grant, Mission-Aransas Reserve, and University of Texas Marine Science Institute. In this competition, students demonstrated their knowledge of marine and coastal science by answering questions ranging from biology, physics, chemistry, geology, geography, mathematics and the social sciences. Each team consisted of four students and their coach. This year the winners were:
1st - Chaparral Star Academy A (Austin)
2nd - Tom C. Clark High School (San Antonio)
3rd - Chaparral Star Academy B (Austin)
Dr. Wes Tunnell Sportsmanship Award - McAllen Memorial High School B
The purpose behind all of the mental matchups is to increase ocean literacy and prepare students for ocean related science and other STEM careers. Through this experience they will become knowledgeable citizens and better their understanding of environmental stewardship. The ocean is an ideal interdisciplinary teaching tool for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) that applies learning in a real world context. Working in the ocean environment poses challenges that push the innovation, engineering, and technology development needed in our workforce. Ocean science is not a course generally offered at the high school level, but this opportunity combines high school science and math in a format that is both exciting and challenging. The NOSB is one of the few ways students gain exposure to all of ocean science and related careers as they are beginning to chart their course in life.