By Dawn Krebs
ST. LUCIE COUNTY - On Feb. 16, students from the six middle schools in St. Lucie County spent a Saturday at Fort Pierce Westwood's Marine Oceanographic Academy in Fort Pierce competing against each other in the school district's first science bowl competition.
"Last year, we had a team at the regional level, but no local competition," said Steve Shotola, title one science support specialist. "This is the first time we've brought the schools together, and hopefully it is something we will be able to do every year."
Answering questions like "What are the four main human blood types?" and "Which best describes the relationship between a human forearm and a bat's wing?," the 12 teams from Southport Middle School, Dan McCarty K-8, Southern Oaks Middle School, Forest Grove Middle School, Allapattah Flats K-8 and Fort Pierce Magnet Schools of the Arts played three rounds, with the top four teams advancing to an elimination round.
MOA and school district staff assisted with the event.
"We're very excited to host this first event," said Debra Kohuth, assistant principal for Fort Pierce Westwood High School, MOA campus. "This gives middle-school students a chance to see the campus and meet the teachers."
Also helping with the competition were MOA students preparing for a competition of their own. The six students will be in Miami this weekend to representing St. Lucie County in the regional competition of the Ocean Bowl, where in the past two years the team has qualified for national competition.
After the morning rounds, the teams traveled to the nearby Florida Atlantic University's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Center. At its education center, the top scoring teams played each other in an elimination round, with Forest Grove Middle School emerging as the winners.
This competition gives the school teams practice for the upcoming regional competition, which takes place on March 2 in Cocoa Beach. This year, St. Lucie County will be represented by six teams.