Eric and Wendy Schmidt Make Generous Donation to Support Ocean Science Education
Contribution Keeps National Ocean Sciences Bowl Running Through 2014
Washington, D.C. – The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) is pleased to announce it has received $500,000 from long-time ocean advocates Eric and Wendy Schmidt in support of the program’s 2013-2014 operating year. The NOSB, a program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership, is a national ocean science education program headquartered in Washington, D.C. The donation will be used for national program support, including the 2014 National Finals Competition.
Each year, 2,000 students from approximately 400 high schools participate in the NOSB. Twenty-five regional bowls are held across the United States with the winning team from each bowl competing in the National Finals Competition, held in a different location each year. During the bowls, students are tested on a wide range of ocean science disciplines, the study of which often exposes students to STEM subject matter that they otherwise would not have been given the opportunity to learn about.
The generous personal donation from Eric and Wendy Schmidt will ensure that the NOSB can continue for the upcoming academic year after sequestration and other federal budget cuts had a sudden impact on the program’s funding. The Schmidts have long been supporters of the environment and the ocean through the The Schmidt Family Foundation’s 11th Hour Project and The Schmidt Ocean Institute, as well as sponsorship of two prizes focused on ocean health through the XPrize Foundation.
The ocean is an integral part of society and has a broad impact on our environment: it propels our economy through tourism, recreation, trading and fishing; it drives weather patterns, influencing extreme events; and it provides clean, renewable energy. Despite this, much of the vast ocean is still undiscovered. Investment in ocean science is key to the advancement of our society. The NOSB program gives students the opportunity to begin learning about this field at a young age.
“There are few mechanisms for high school students to learn about 71 percent of this planet,” said Bob Gagosian, President & CEO of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership. “NOSB fills that void by learning about the complex nature of the ocean through science. I highly commend the Schmidts’ recognition of this vital need to invest in ocean science education early so the participants can learn about the importance of the ocean for the future of humanity and become the ocean information engines for future generations.”
“Eric and I are delighted to support the NOSB and ocean science education for high schoolers across our nation,” said Wendy Schmidt. “This is a critical time for ocean health and education at all levels is a key component to protecting our oceans. We applaud the work of the NOSB, which is helping to nurture the next generation of students who will have a big impact on the preservation of our most vital natural resources.”
“The contribution from Eric and Wendy Schmidt provides many of our nation’s brightest high school students with the opportunity to become deeply engaged and highly educated in ocean science,” said Kristen Yarincik, National Ocean Sciences Bowl Director. “STEM education is extremely important to the future of our country and the NOSB cannot thank them enough for providing our students with an opportunity to become America’s next generation of ocean scientists.”
Along with the donation from Eric and Wendy Schmidt, other current funders of the NOSB for the upcoming year include the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, which will cover program enhancements, competition question development and general support, respectively.
For more information on the NOSB, click here.
About National Ocean Sciences Bowl
The National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) is a program of the Consortium for Ocean Leadership based in Washington, D.C. NOSB seeks to interest students in pursuing a college degree and future career in the ocean sciences. Through this educational forum, the NOSB strives to encourage and support the next generation of marine scientists, policy makers, teachers, explorers, researchers, technicians, environmental advocates and informed citizens, to consider and appreciate the ocean. Approximately 2,000 students from over 300 high schools participated in 2013.
About Consortium for Ocean Leadership
Ocean Leadership is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that represents 88 of the leading public and private ocean research education institutions, aquaria and industry with the mission to advance research, education and sound ocean policy. The organization also manages, coordinates and facilitates ocean research and education programs in areas of scientific ocean drilling, ocean observing, ocean exploration and ocean partnerships.