Each February regional competitions are held at 25 locations across the country. Teams of 4-5 students are tested on their knowledge of scientific and technical disciplines through quick answer buzzer questions and more complex, critical thinking team challenge questions (TCQs). The winning team from each of the 25 regional competitions is provided transportation and room and board accommodation to advance to the NOSB Finals Competition held in a different location each year in April. Typically, the teams that place 1st-3rd in the NOSB Finals Competition win experiential award trips to exciting locations.
General Format of the Competition
The NOSB is a timed competition (defined as the use of “lock-out” type buzzer systems and clocks) between two teams. Each match consists of a series of toss-up questions that individual team members must answer without collaboration. A team that correctly responds to a toss-up question is given a short answer bonus question to answer as a team.
Additionally, two TCQs are provided in written form and require teamwork and extra time (2-5 minutes per TCQ) to complete. Unlike the toss-up and bonus questions, both teams can answer the TCQ and win points for their correct responses. Each match has two TCQs and 20 toss-up questions paired with an equal number of bonus questions. Matches consist of two 6-minute halves with a 2-minute break after the completion of the TCQs. Competitions consist of ~15 matches (or rounds) including tie-breakers, as necessary. Please see the Competition Rules for more details.