Many groups and individuals at OHS have had great success this year, from the football team advancing to the state championship game for the third straight year, all the way to the Lady Chargers soccer team winning its first state title.
Now, the spotlight is on a team of a more academic and niche focus: Ocean Bowl.
Somewhat similar to the Science Bowl team, Ocean Bowl is more focused, studying and answering trivia questions in competitions on the subject of – you guessed it – the ocean. Even with the limited scope of the topic, the various clusters of information studied are vast and complex.
“There’s a wide variety of things involved with Ocean Bowl, like marine biology, chemical properties of water, and other fields,” said OHS freshman Marawan Elgohry. “It’s pretty difficult, but it’s fun when you know the information.”
Part of what makes Ocean Bowl so challenging for those involved is how nothing is set in stone. There are no definite categories for the questions and no regulations for what may be asked, so any bit of trivia is fair game – from plate tectonics to new marine technology.
To combat this, the Oxford High team has each member rigorously study questions from past competitions and review a few books that always provide good preparation.
With only two years of experience and a recent Hurricane Bowl victory in Ocean Springs, these students have qualified for the national competition, which will be held in Morehead City in North Carolina from April 21-26.
The team members have been buckling down on reviewing, making sure to prepare themselves for the challenge ahead.
“It’s our first time going,” said junior team captain Nitin Ankisetty. “We’re not sure what to expect, but we are looking forward to it. We hope to do pretty well and get in the top 16.”
Along with providing students an academic challenge, the event also holds a special purpose: to bring awareness to the condition of the ocean and charities that support the cause. Students at the event are also required to propose legislation relating to a yearly theme. Last year, the oil spills took center stage, and this year the focus is helping people who live on the coast.
“People living there have to deal with many environmental issues there, and with global warming and climate change affecting them as well, we have to come up with ways to deal with the problems,” Ankisetty said. “It’s there to bring discussion about these issues.”
The competition has helped the students develop in many areas, providing a benefit to the students who participate. The mass amount of information consumed helps improve study habits, the debate and legislation develops logical reasoning, and working as a group creates team skills in an academic setting.
“It’s opened up a lot of career paths and educational opportunities,” Elgohry said. “It’s a very interesting experience and it’s good to be part of a team.”