Students bring home state Ocean Bowl title

Published 12:32 pm Sunday, March 4, 2007

By Staff
Washington High School has another prize for its academic trophy case after a team of students came home with a first-place finish in the 2007 Blue Heron Bowl, the state finals of the National Ocean Science Bowl.
The competition, patterned on a quiz-bowl format, was held Feb. 24 at Carteret Community College in Morehead City.
Members of the winning team are senior Rachel Perkinson and juniors Molly Edwards, Thomas Alligood, Liza Page and Ted Hodges. Clay Campbell served as team advisor.
This is the sixth year Washington has participated in the event, according to Campbell. The school has won it once before as well as tallying second- and third-place finishes.
Sixteen high schools, public and private, participated in this year’s state contest. The teams were divided into four groups the morning of the bowl, and competition determined each school’s seed in the afternoon’s finals, Campbell said.
Blue Heron Bowl categories include ocean biology, chemistry, physics, geography, geology and social science. Because the competition is based on what the students have learned in class — they either know it or they don’t — there wasn’t a lot of preparation work to be done.
Hodges and Page, who took the oceanography class last year, were members of the 2006 bowl team. Perkinson and Edwards currently are enrolled in the class, and Alligood was brought on board for his practical outdoor experience, according to Campbell.
The first-place finish brings an unusual trophy back to Washington High School’s growing collection of academic hardware. Organizers of the event commissioned an artist from Bayboro to create custom-made platters bearing an image of a blue heron for the top three finishers, Campbell said.
In addition, each student was awarded a laptop computer, scuba-diving lessons and an all-expenses paid trip to the national competition, set for April 29-30 at Stony Brook University in Long Island, N.Y.
Each student will also receive a $1,000 college scholarship should they choose to attend the University of North Carolina or North Carolina State University.
The Blue Heron Bowl is sponsored on an alternating basis by UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Wilmington and N.C. State.