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Fishy science club takes the bait in annual Bay Scallop Bowl

Michael Riggi, Managing Editor

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After months of preparation in the depths of room 93, the ‘Fishy Science Club’ reeled in third place at the annual Bay Scallop Bowl competition at Stony Brook University this past February.
The Bay Scallop Bowl, an annual competition designed in a game-like manner that challenges students on marine science topics, was held in the School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at Stony Brook University on February 3.
“The competition is a great way to meet other people with a strong passion for marine sciences and oceanography,” Fishy Science Club captain Hunter D’Amore said. “Seeing so many students that care so much about the environment is amazing.”
Unique from any other type of event on Long Island that came before it, the Bay Scallop Bowl is a regional competition for high school students to raise awareness on an understanding of oceans and coastal resources. The competition falls under the larger umbrella of The National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB) competition, which is in part funded and backed by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership organization in Washington DC.
The Bay Scallop Bowl is likewise put together in a way so that all students and those attending in the audience can engage and bond over marine-based topics.
“There a lot of people and preparation that go into the Bay Scallop Bowl” ‘Fishy Science Club’ advisor Captain Kwas said. “Going into the competition without preparing and knowing your topics is like a deer stepping into headlights.”
This year those representing the Massapequa team were sophomores Michael Liebow and Kevin Malone, junior Conor Stearns, and senior captain Hunter D’Amore.
The Bay Scallop Bowl is designed to accommodate a wide variety of schools and players. This year there were twelve teams who competed in total, bringing the total number of students participating to about sixty this year.
The four players on each team in the competition collaborate together and then buzz in to answer questions on marine science-based topics. As teams and students gradually become eliminated throughout the competition, it eventually dwindles down to rounds of single elimination.
“The competition does become very aggressive” Captain Kwas said. “Students need to be confident in their answers and always stay on their game.”
There are also additional challenges in the competition throughout the course of the day. The half-time challenge focuses specifically around team collaboration, in which team members write down answers to questions based off of specific diagrams and charts.
In addition to this there is also a bonus round where only the team captains can give the answers. Competing in these bonus rounds and in the normal competition requires extensive preparation and knowledge of the topics at hand, which the headlining driving force of the team senior captain Hunter D’Amore made sure to prepare the other members for.
“Before the competition the team met every day after school, sometimes staying past four o’clock to practice questions and read through textbooks for as much edge in the competition as possible” Hunter said.
These weeks of preparation proved to be more than beneficial for the team, who after a long, almost 12 hour day at Stony Brook University, placed for the first time ever in Massapequa history as one of the top three teams.
Students who participated in the event received a trophy and are looking forward to a trip to the Riverhead Aquarium together for which they received free behind the scenes passes.
“The competition was interesting and I’m glad to have competed in it,” sophomore Michael Liebow said. “It was a great opportunity for us all.”
The team is looking forward to working together in the future and hopes to continue on its path to success in next year’s Bay Scallop Bowl.

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Fishy science club takes the bait in annual Bay Scallop Bowl