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Westwood High School Marine & Oceanographic Academy Wins National Ocean Science ‘Florida Manatee Bowl’ at FAU’s Harbor Branch

BOCA RATON, FL (March 8, 2012) – The “B Team” from Fort Pierce’s Westwood High School’s Marine & Oceanographic Academy (MOA) was crowned the regional champion of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl® (NOSB), which recently took place at Florida Atlantic University’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute.  A high school competition testing the knowledge of a wide range of ocean-related topics, the “Florida Manatee Bowl” attracted 16 teams from Jacksonville to Miami. 

By the slimmest of margins, the MOA “B Team” defeated the MOA “A Team,” which had won the 2011 regional competition, in the final round, and will advance with 24 other regional champions to the 15th annual NOSB in Baltimore, Maryland from Thursday, April 19 through Sunday, April 22. The other top teams were Pinecrest’s Miami Palmetto High School in third place, and Miami’s MAST Academy’s “Team A” in fourth place.

“The ‘Florida Manatee Bowl’ is an opportunity for Florida’s high school students to showcase their interest and understanding of one of our greatest resources, our oceans,” said Dennis Hanisak, Ph.D., Harbor Branch’s director of education and event coordinator. “I believe the National Ocean Science Bowl is a challenging and fun event, not only for the students, but also for their teachers, and the scientists and volunteers who hosted, organized and volunteered at this event.”

Along with MOA, Pinecrest’s Miami Palmetto High School, and MAST,  high schools participating in the 2012 “Florida Manatee Bowl” included Archimedean Upper Conservatory, Miami; Eau Gallie High School, Melbourne; Heritage High School, Palm Bay; Immaculata - La Salle High School, Miami; Mandarin High School, Jacksonville; South Broward High School, Hollywood; St. Lucie West Centennial High School, Port St. Lucie; and Viera High School, Viera.

The NOSB is a program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership based in Washington, D.C. This month, approximately 2,000 students from more than 300 high schools participated in NOSB events at 25 sites throughout the country.

The NOSB seeks to interest students in the ocean sciences as a college major and potential career. Through this educational forum, the NOSB strives to encourage and support the next generation of marine scientists, policy makers, teachers, explorers, researchers, technicians, environmental advocates and informed citizens.

Students around the country spend months working with volunteer coaches to get ready for competitions, which pit four-student teams against each other in rapid-fire buzzer rounds of multiple choice and short-answer questions, as well as in team challenge questions. Topics include ocean biology, chemistry, geology, physics, navigation, geography, and related history, literature, and public policy.

Since its inception 15 years ago, the NOSB “Florida Manatee Bowl” has been co-hosted by FAU Harbor Branch and the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, with the event alternating each year between Fort Pierce and Miami.  Moderators and judges for the event are drawn from both institutions.


About Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute :
Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University is a research institute dedicated to exploration, innovation, conservation and education related to the oceans.  Harbor Branch was founded in 1971 as a private non-profit organization. In December 2007, Harbor Branch joined Florida Atlantic University. The institute specializes in ocean engineering, at-sea operations, drug discovery and biotechnology from the oceans, coastal ecology and conservation, marine mammal research and conservation, aquaculture, and marine education. For more information, visit

Florida Atlantic University, established in 1961, officially opened its doors in 1964 as the fifth public university in Florida. Today, the University serves more than 29,000 undergraduate and graduate students on seven campuses and sites. FAU’s world-class teaching and research faculty serves students through 10 colleges: the Dorothy F. Schmidt College of Arts and Letters, the College of Business, the College for Design and Social Inquiry, the College of Education, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the Graduate College, the Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College, the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine, the Christine E. Lynn College of Nursing and the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science. FAU is ranked as a High Research Activity institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. For more information, visit

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