National Ocean Sciences Bowl - Texas

The National Ocean Science Bowl (NOSB) is a nation wide, high-school science competition focused on marine issues and knowledge. Students demonstrate their knowledge of marine and coastal science by answering questions from biology, physics, chemistry, geology, geography, mathematics and the social sciences. Each team consists of four students and their coach, and may include a fifth student to serve as an alternate.

The NOSB competition is intended to increase knowledge of the oceans on the part of high school students, their teachers and parents, and to raise the visibility and public understanding of the national investment in ocean-related research.

Texas' regional competition is the Dolphin Challenge.


2020 Dolphin Challenge

Congratulations to the winners of the 2020 Dolphin Challenge held February 1, 2020 at Texas A&M University at Galveston. (Photos by Chuck Snyder)

1st Place - Arkansas School For Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts
1st Place - Arkansas School For Mathematics, Sciences, and the Arts
Brandeis High School
2nd Place - Brandeis High School
Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
Sportsmanship Award - Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts


For an overview of the event, see the NOSB 2020 Dolphin Challenge video:

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NOSB is managed by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, a nonprofit organization representing 94 of the leading public and private ocean research and education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to advance research, education and sound ocean policy.

For Students

We hope the Dolphin Challenge and the Loggerhead Challenge are fun and rewarding experience for all competitors. The National Ocean Science Bowl website is designed to help you prepare for the competition and give you information about scholarships and internships you might be eligible for as a National Ocean Sciences Bowl participant.


Preparing for the Competition

Your coach will probably schedule regular training sessions for your team. It will help to familiarize yourself with the competition rules and browse the sample questions at the national NOSB website.

For Coaches

Texas has two regional NOSB competitions, the Dolphin Challenge and the Loggerhead Challenge. Schools in the northern part of the state compete in the Dolphin Challenge, held in Galveston, and schools from the southern part of the state compete in the Loggerhead Challenge in the Coastal Bend. The competitions take place in February or March of each year. This PDF includes several tips on how to form a team.



Registration for the 2017 Dolphin Challenge will open in the fall. Additional information, including a link to register online, will be available here at that time.

Preparing for the Competition

All participants are expected to know the competition rules. Visit the National Ocean Sciences Bowl at for Competition Rules, Sample Buzzer Questions, Team Challenge Questions, tips for forming a successful NOSB team, and Study Resources.


Travel Arrangements

Teams are expected to arrive on the Friday before the competition to participate in pre-competition events.

Volunteering for NOSB

Thank you for donating your time and energy to ensure the success of either the Dolphin Challenge or the Loggerhead Challenge. The competition would not be possible without the efforts of its volunteers.
Volunteers are needed every year to fill a number of jobs, including being officials in the competition rooms and judging the responses to the Team Challenge questions. In addition to our appreciation, volunteers receive a Dolphin Challenge t-shirt and lunch on the day of the competition.



All volunteers, even those who have participated in the past, must attend a training session each year prior to the competition. Training sessions are scheduled in the months before the competition. 
Please read the overview of the competition. A short video of a staged buzzer round can give you an idea of how the competition flows.

Please also review the instructions of any of the roles you think you might be interested in taking. It will be helpful if you know which role you would like to fill before attending the training session.


Roles of Officials

There are six officials needed in every competition room for each round:

Moderator: essentially in charge of the round; must be able to read aloud clearly and quickly and keep the competition running smoothly; those with a background in the marine sciences are preferred for pronunciation of scientific terms.
Rules Judge: must know all the Competition Rules; ensures quiet during the game and that the rules are consistently and correctly followed by everyone in the room. 
Science Judge: must have a technical background (generally a graduate degree) in marine sciences and be prepared to address challenges to content by participating students.
Timekeeper: must know the rules that apply, know how to work a stopwatch and digital clock, and stay focused on time, not the game.
Scorekeeper: must know the rules that apply and be able to do simple arithmetic (addition and subtraction) quickly and accurately.
Runner: must be able to move quickly between the competition room and the Judges’ Room or Ocean Bowl Central.

Julie Massey

For More Information:

Julie Massey

Distinguished Agent, Galveston County

(281) 309-5063