I was in chemistry class my junior year of high school, when our teacher began talking about the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB). I had never heard of NOSB before, but it sounded like a fun way to get involved in an academic group. She was enthusiastic, and encouraged me to join. Unfortunately my high school did not have any specific oceanic science classes, so our Ocean Bowl meetings consisted of short lessons on all the types of material we might see at the competition. We were also responsible for doing reading outside of school, to attempt to learn and share more knowledge with each other. Though we were a small team, we were very close-knit and shared many fun times together.
At my first competition I was very nervous, but quickly calmed down when I realized how much fun we would have together. The day flew by, and when we sat down for the results, my teammates and I were proud, regardless of where we placed. My team won a seal watch, which included a guided learning experience on a boat. After the competition, I was sure I would do NOSB again my senior year.
My second year was even more amazing; I had learned so much more about the ocean and natural sciences. It was exciting to introduce new team members to the whole NOSB experience, and to go into the competition having had some practice from the previous year. This time our team won a trip to Mystic Aquarium, with a special “backstage” tour. I was amazed to see all the work that goes into the Aquarium, and the sick or injured animals that are cared for behind the scenes. Sadly, I knew I would be graduating and unable to participate in NOSB again. However, I was excited that some of the new team members I had introduced to the club would now be in my position the next year, leading more new members into the learning experience.
After high school, I enrolled at Assumption College and pursued a major in psychology. I want to become a school guidance counselor which will enable me to help students get involved in activities, such as NOSB. Currently, I am also a First Year Mentor at Assumption. Our main goal is to make the high school-to-college transition smoother by promoting involvement on and off campus, in various clubs, activities, internships, and volunteer work.
Though I decided to take a career path in psychology, I will always be grateful for the two years of experience I had on the NOSB team. The National Ocean Sciences Bowl taught me valuable leadership skills and the importance of advancing your personal education through experiences outside the classroom.