Lake Sturgeon Bowl

Competition Dates

Lake Sturgeon Bowl Regional Competition

  • January 31, 2020: Open House at the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences
  • February 1, 2020: Competition at UWM School of Continuing Education

NOSB National Competition

  • April 16-19, 2020 Long Beach, MS

Competition theme: TBD

Registration Deadline: November 15, 2019

Dear High School Science Educator,

The University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee (UWM), on behalf of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, invites you and your students to participate in the seventeenth annual Lake Sturgeon Bowl. The bowl, to be held in Milwaukee, is a regional competition of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), and is coordinated by the UWM School of Freshwater Sciences.

Now in its 23rd year, the NOSB is a round robin, double-elimination academic tournament that provides a forum for students who excel in math and science. Students receive national recognition for their diligence and talent while broadening their awareness and understanding of the oceans and Great Lakes.

Students who compete in the regional bowl are eligible to apply for scholarships from the National Ocean Scholar Program sponsored by the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

How does it work?

High schools organize their own teams of five students and a coach. Competition and policy info is online at Registered coaches will receive a resource packet, and training sessions will be held for teams.

On Friday, January 31, 2020, the regional competition begins in the evening at UWM School of Freshwater Sciences to welcome all teams. On Saturday, February 1, 2020 the competition continues at UWM School of Continuing Education, with a rapid-fire question-and-answer format. In addition, timed critical thinking exercises known as team challenge questions, will be incorporated into each round of competition.

First place winners from 25 regional bowls around the country will receive an all-expenses paid trip to Long Beach, MS to participate in the national competition April 16-19, 2020. A variety of prizes for teams and coaches are awarded at both the regional and national bowls. Lake Sturgeon Bowl prizes in 2019 included a trip to Washington, D.C.; field trips aboard the research vessel Neeskay; classroom equipment; gift certificates; and more. All participants win individual and team prizes.

Who should participate?

Motivated, hard-working high school students (grades 9-12) who seek a challenge in science and mathematics.

How can I volunteer?

The Lake Sturgeon Bowl owes much of its success to the efforts of our wonderful volunteers. Our volunteers serve in many capacities as competition officials, question reviewers, open house tour guides, speakers, or registration assistants. Volunteering is a great way to be inspired by and inspire amazing students.

How do I register a team?

ACT QUICKLY! Complete the Lake Sturgeon Bowl Preliminary Registration 

Only 20 teams will compete in the 2020 Lake Sturgeon Bowl. The first 8 teams to register will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The remaining teams will be selected by lottery. The deadline for teams to register is November 15, 2019, after that date team entry is at the discretion of the regional coordinator. There is a non-refundable $100 fee for teams once selected.

Lake Sturgeon Bowl Coaching and Participation Policy

  1. An official team consists of five players and one coach. Guidelines for student eligibility are found in the rules for national competition. Visit the National Ocean Sciences Bowl web page for more information.
  2. Each team must have a single designated coach. The coach must be a teacher or official from the team’s school or an employee or official with an education program that is sponsoring a team. The coach serves as the primary and official contact for the team in all communications with the Lake Sturgeon Bowl/National Ocean Sciences Bowl. Coach responsibilities include:
    1. Preparation and supervision of team members.
    2. Timely completion of applications and forms.
    3. Maintenance of high ethical and sportsmanship standards, both in preparation and in competition.
    4. Compliance with policies of the Lake Sturgeon Bowl/National Ocean Sciences Bowl, and the sponsoring school system or education program.
  3. Changes in designated coach can be made only with the prior approval of the Lake Sturgeon Bowl coordinator. Any substitute coaches will be expected to meet the same eligibility criteria and carry out the same responsibilities as the original coach. Teams arriving on the day of competition without their designated coach will not be allowed to compete.
  4. Faculty, staff, and students from the institutions sponsoring the Lake Sturgeon Bowl are not eligible to serve as coaches, but may serve as scientific advisors to teams under the following circumstances:
    1. Scientific advisors who work with individual teams can have no contact whatsoever with question development and review or with game preparation or practice sessions for officials.
    2. Scientific advisors are expected to demonstrate the highest ethical standards. Should they inadvertently be exposed to “insider” information of any kind (e.g. overheard discussion of questions, conversations about rules, or comments from officials about their perspective on policies and rulings), they are expected to withdraw as team scientific advisors.
    3. Scientific advisors may not represent the team in communications with Bowl officials.
    4. Scientific advisors are not eligible for any awards.

Any exceptions to these policies must be approved in advance by the Lake Sturgeon Bowl coordinator. Failure to adhere to policy may result in immediate disqualification of the team from competition.