Cobras Compete at National Ocean Sciences Bowl

ST. LUCIE COUNTY – Ft. Pierce Central High School’s (FPCHS) Cobra Pride came through in a respectable showing at the 19th Annual National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) Competition in Morehead City, North Carolina. Team members Andrew Caputo, Cody Nichols, Victor Alterizio, Bryce Starr, and Riley Kicker represented the school and finished 12th in the national competition.

Team Coach Steve Shotola said the road to NOSB was rigorous.  He explained that the field was wide as 369 teams competed in regional competitions for the right to advance. “The Cobra team won the Florida Manatee Regional Competition in February and joined an elite group of 23 other regional champion teams at the finals in Morehead City.”

Students tested their knowledge of ocean-related topics, which included cross-disciplines of biology, chemistry, physics, and geology by answering buzzer-style, multiple choice questions, and longer, critical thinking-based team challenge questions. They also participated in the Science Expert Briefing — a mock congressional hearing where they presented science recommendations on a piece of legislation. FPCHS received the highest and near-perfect score in the Oral Presentation portion of the testimony.

Feedback given to the students from Dr. Susan K. Avery, President and Director Emeritus at Wood’s Hole Oceanographic Institution included, “Fantastic persuasiveness, great conferral with one another, very strong oral presentation in both testimonies and question and answer. Both confidence and preparation helped them shine. This team seemed the most jazzed about the policy component of any in the competition.”

FPCHS Principal Todd Smith said, “I could not be more proud of our students.  They exemplify courage and tenacity to pursue their goals, demonstrate positive leadership, and support one another through their teamwork.”

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