Boardman team ends up on top in the 2014 Regional Science Bowl, also known as the Penguin Bowl earlier this month.
On Feb. 1, Boardman sent two teams to the Pittsburgh Zoo where they competed against teams from Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Maryland for the championship.
According to BHS science teacher and team coach Heather Moran, this is the 12th year for the Penguin Bowl and the fourth year for Boardman's participation. The event is attended by 17 teams from the four states, with several schools, including Boardman, bringing two teams. The teams all practice and study for the event after school and in special study sessions.
Photo Special to the Town Crier
Boardman High School science students Megan Banks, Matt Stark, Heather Moran (teacher), Jimmy Jones, Luke Carabbia, and Kaye Moyer won this year's Regional Science Bowl held at the Pittsburgh Zoo earlier this month. It was the first time a local team has brought home the championship from the event, also known as the Penguin Bowl. In winning the event, the BHS team also earned some awards including the coveted penguin hats.
When the event comes, it usually means a sleep over, according to Moran.
''Every other year it is held at the zoo, and then YSU,'' she said. ''Last year we slept at OH WOW! Science Museum, but the zoo at night is great. We got to pet a penguin, go behind the scenes with the sharks and sea turtles, talk with the animal handlers, and we slept under the polar bear swimming area. We were actually woken up by a polar bear who was taking a very early swim. That was an interesting way to wake up.''
The actual competition begins the next day and is a round-robin academic tournament in which students must answer questions about the oceans and Great Lakes. Teams are eliminated and the field narrows to the final two teams that face off for the championship title.
This year, that final round was between Boardman and a team from Kentucky. The rounds leading up to the final win were close, mostly between a half point to three point difference. When Boardman won, it was so close that all the students were quiet.
''The kids had a delayed reaction,'' Moran said. ''The rounds leading up to the win were so close that they didn't want to celebrate until they were sure. Once they knew for sure, it was crazy. Jumping up and down crazy.''
The first place win brought with it a lot of prizes. The team earned books, a trophy, and the penguin hats. It also qualified them for the National Ocean Bowl Competition to be held in Seattle, Wash. in May
''We are beyond excited,'' Moran said. ''The team is still trying to process an expense paid trip to Seattle for the National Competition.''