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Released February 17, 2003


BILOXI Nineteen high school teams from Mississippi and surrounding states will converge on The University of Southern Mississippi's Scott Aquarium here next weekend, Feb. 21-22, to test their knowledge in the annual Hurricane Bowl – the regional edition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.

Student teams compete in a rapid-fire, question-and-answer format on a wide scope of ocean topics: biology, chemistry, geology, physics, history, economics, navigation, geography, technology and current events. Added this year are team challenge questions that require the team members to combine their analytical skills to answer questions based on real- or near-real-time data streams, as well as current research issues and policy.

The Hurricane Bowl is the central Gulf of Mexico's preliminary competition for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl finals in La Jolla, Calif., April 25-28.

Each team includes four students, one alternate and a coach. Teams will register and participate in opening ceremonies Friday from 4-8 p.m. On the agenda for Saturday are round-robin and double-elimination tournaments followed by a closing awards ceremony.

Scott Aquarium organizers said a need exists for additional volunteers, especially with some technical training. The volunteer wish list includes scientific judges, rules judges, score keepers, time keepers and moderators.

"We need more scientific judges this year because of the addition of the team challenge questions," said co-coordinator Becky Espey, noting individuals interested in volunteering should contact the aquarium for information on a brief training session.

To volunteer, contact Espey or Willie Heard at 374-5550.

Mississippi Gulf Coast high schools registered to compete are Long Beach and Ocean Springs, both with two teams. Also registered from Mississippi are Poplarville High School, Pearl River Central High School at Carriere, South Panola of Batesville and Wesson High School.

General admission to the competition is free with Scott Aquarium membership or paid admission.

Established in 1998, National Ocean Sciences Bowl provides an educational forum for students who excel in math and science to earn recognition for their diligence and talents. Regional competitions will be held at 24 locations around the United States at member institutions of the Consortium for Oceanographic Research and Education.

The J.L. Scott Marine Education Center and Aquarium is a part of the university's Gulf Coast Research Laboratory and the College of Marine Sciences.


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April 20, 2004 4:09 PM