George Mason University

News at Mason

Potomac Science Center a showcase for marine sciences competition

February 15, 2019   /   by John Hollis

Inquisitive high school science students from throughout Northern Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C., will get a close-up look at the Potomac Science Center when George Mason University hosts the Chesapeake Bay Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 16.  

A regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, the Chesapeake Bay Bowl is a nationally recognized marine sciences trivia competition that provides a forum for talented students to test their knowledge of the marine sciences, including biology, chemistry, physics, geology, marine history, policy and current events.   

Tina Bell, Mason’s STEM Accelerator faculty member for biology within the College of Science, is planning the event, which Mason last hosted in 2016.  

“You’ve got these studious students, and they're excited to learn,” said  Frannie Dove,  the academic affairs operations manager for the College of Science. “This is the chance to showcase the tremendous resources and faculty that Mason has  for students getting ready to plan their futures.”  

Located on Belmont Bay in Woodbridge, Virginia, near the mouth of the Occoquan River, the Potomac Science Center is a 50,000-square-foot facility that houses laboratories for teaching and research, lecture rooms, event space and outdoor trails. The $32 million waterfront building, which opened for use in fall 2017, is home to the College of Science’s Potomac Environmental Research and Education Center (PEREC).  

Natalie Burls, an assistant professor within the College of Science’s Department of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences who was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow in Ocean Sciences in 2017, will deliver the keynote speech.  

Created in 1998, the National Ocean Sciences Bowl has grown in size and now includes 25 regional competitions each year featuring more than 2,500 participants from 300 schools. More than 20,000 high school students have participated since the contest’s inception.  

 Twelve teams of four to five participants answer marine sciences questions in a quick, answer-timed format, as well as more complex team challenge questions. First-place winners from the Chesapeake Bay Bowl will join the winners from 24 other regional competitions at the National Ocean Sciences Bowl Championship in Washington, D.C., from April 11–13.  

 For more information, click here