100 students and teachers compete in 26th annual Blue Crab Bowl, hosted in-person at VIMS for the first time since 2019

  • First Place Winners from Broadwater Academy
    First Place Winners from Broadwater Academy     Lathan Goumas
  • Second Place Winners from Grafton High School
    Second Place Winners from Grafton High School     Lathan Goumas
  • Third Place Winners from Catholic High School/Isle Wight
    Third Place Winners from Catholic High School/Isle Wight     Lathan Goumas
  • Fourth Place Winners from Catholic High School
    Fourth Place Winners from Catholic High School     Lathan Goumas
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Sixteen teams from 15 schools across the Commonwealth competed in this year’s Blue Crab Bowl, one of 17 regional competitions of the National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB), an annual academic contest to test knowledge of the ocean science disciplines among high-school students. On the first day of the event, students toured VIMS’ wide array of labs and collections and attended an ocean science career panel. With careers from grant administration to the Navy and from communications to fieldwork represented on the panel, students saw first-hand the breadth of career opportunities in ocean sciences. The 78 competing students and 22 teachers then spent a full day engaged in heated tournament competition focused on the marine sciences. This challenging event includes round-robin matches, elimination rounds, and trophy rounds, with 47 matches in all this year.

Broadwater Academy ultimately emerged victorious, after completing the full competition bracket without a single loss. Returning to the competition with a new coach after a hiatus of more than 10 years, Grafton High School earned second place. Third and fourth place honors went to the Catholic High School/Isle Wight combined team and Catholic High School, respectively. First-time competitors from Newport News’ Warwick High School were coached by W&M School of Education Alumna Chenoa Payne and made a strong showing, finishing in sixth place and eliminating several veteran teams along the way.

The Blue Crab Bowl is a cooperative effort between William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science and Old Dominion University’s Department of Ocean and Earth Sciences. Over the course of this year’s event, more than 55 VIMS faculty, graduate students, and staff volunteered their time to ensure the event’s success.

Marine Education Specialist Bethany Smith, who leads VIMS’ sponsorship of the Blue Crab Bowl, says “We were thrilled to see Blue Crab Bowl return in-person to VIMS.  The excitement of the teams and coaches was palpable and it’s always so fun to watch some of our future leaders in marine science tackle these incredibly difficult questions.”

Virginia’s Blue Crab Bowl was among the inaugural NOSB competitions in 1998. Designed to inspire and challenge high school students, NOSB contests like the Blue Crab Bowl test the competitors’ knowledge of the marine sciences, covering the breadth of oceanography and maritime disciplines. To date, the Blue Crab Bowl has involved more than 1,900 of the Commonwealth’s brightest science students from 61 public and private schools across Virginia. VIMS and ODU take turns hosting the Blue Crab Bowl. Next year, the 27th bowl will take place at ODU.
The Blue Crab Bowl wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of regional and national sponsors. This year’s regional sponsors are the National Ocean Sciences Bowl, the Center for Ocean Leadership, Old Dominion University’s Ocean & Earth Sciences Department, Old Dominion University, William & Mary’s Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS), VIMS’ Marine Advisory Program, the Mid-Atlantic Marine Education Association, Sea Grant Virginia, and Splendid Sands. The national sponsors are the National Academies of Sciences Engineering Medicine Gulf Research Program, the Schmidt Ocean Institute, NASA, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the Curtis & Edith Munson Foundation, and IEEE Oceanic Engineering Society.

For more information about this year’s sponsors, visit the NOSB website at
Competing 2024 Teams
  • Albemarle High School
  • Broadwater Academy
  • Catholic High School - A
  • Catholic / Isle of Wight - B
  • Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School, Bowling Green
  • Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School, Glenns
  • Chesapeake Bay Governor’s School, Warsaw
  • Churchland High School
  • Grafton High School
  • Gov. School for Science & Technology
  • Isle of Wight Academy - A
  • Liberty High School
  • Norfolk Collegiate School
  • Seton School
  • Tidewater Academy
  • Warwick High School