Science, Ocean Bowl teams win competitions, move on to nationals


courtesy of Candice Knef

Left to right: Junior Anish Ravishankar, junior Shahbaz Gul, senior Nitin Ankisetty, junior Isuru Hewamanna, and freshman Edward Hu of the Science Bowl team pose with their trophy and medals after the Mississippi Regional Science Bowl competition on Feb. 17.

Eve Gershon, Staff Writer

The Science and Ocean Bowl teams both won their most recent competitions and will advance to nationals.

The Mississippi Regional Science Bowl competition was held Feb. 17 at The Mississippi School for Math and Science (MSMS) and the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) Hurricane Bowl took place on Feb. 18 in Biloxi.

“We weren’t really expecting to win both of them on the same weekend, so it was pretty exciting when we did win,” said senior Nitin Ankisetty, competitor on both the Ocean and Science Bowl teams.

The national competitions will take place in April of this year. The Ocean Bowl will compete in Oregon, and the Science Bowl will move on to Washington, D.C. Both teams prepared for long hours to ensure that they knew all of the information needed to bring home a win.

“We prepared by mostly self-studying general oceanography textbooks, and we meet once a week to go over study materials and do questions together,” junior and Ocean Bowl member Jeffrey Wang said.

Sponsor of the Science Bowl team, Candice Knef, was not surprised with the victorious outcome of the competition.

“Well, we’ve won three out of the last four years, so it wasn’t a total shock that we won,” Knef said. “I expected them to do very well.”

Still, this did not stop Knef and her team from being a bit nervous as they entered the competition. They often found themselves comparing their team to others, but as the day progressed, the group became more confident in their own abilities.

“We always kind of hold our breath a little bit when it comes to MSMS, they’re kind of our rival in the competition, so the first couple of rounds, where you go and scout other schools, is always kind of nerve-wracking,” Knef said. “Once the day got started and I’d seen the level of the other teams, I was pretty comfortable in knowing that our team was really strong and could probably win the whole thing.”

Those on the Ocean Bowl, going into the competition with a win from last year under their belt, knew they had to prove their teamwork to make sure they succeeded. Set up with more than just multiple choice questions, the Hurricane Bowl provides “team challenge questions” that force all teammates to work together to answer some lengthier questions.

“I was really impressed with our teamwork and the ability for us to cooperate together because the competition is not just a buzzer competition. There’s also a teamwork aspect where you have to solve short answer questions together,” Wang said. “I was really impressed with the way our team was able to bounce back from losses and come together in the end to finish.”