Sample Questions & Study Resources

Below you’ll find resources to help you prepare for competition in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl.

Sample Questions

To prepare for competition, review these sample buzzer and team challenge questions from previous regional and Finals competitions. For the buzzer questions, you will find examples of easy, moderate, and difficult questions within each category. Also included in the sample buzzer questions are questions specifically about the competition. These questions are meant to aid students in learning the rules of the game.

These sample questions are provided to you as a guide for the level of difficulty for which students should be prepared. These questions should NOT be used as a substitute for studying and preparing for the competition. Please see Team Information for preparation suggestions.

Please note, ALL competition questions are the property of the NOSB national office and cannot be released by anyone other than the national office staff.

Study Resources

These study resources are provided to help you and your team prepare for competition. These resources will guide you through general ocean science information, lesson plans, and recent research and exciting findings. The NOSB and Ocean Leadership also have marine policy resources to help teams complete their Science Expert Briefings. New resources are added regularly, so please check back from time to time for the latest.

NOSB Resources on Scoutlier

The NOSB is providing ocean science resources to Scoutlier, a free lesson development tool for teachers that supports learning in the classroom and at home for all students, as part of a new pilot project supported by ONR STEM.

NOSB assignments feature:

  • 10-question quizzes with multiple choice and short answer questions on all topics related to ocean, marine, and freshwater science
  • Webinars and resource pages on past competition themes such as ocean observing, the science of oil in the ocean, ocean acidification, marine renewable energy and more
  • Engaging prompts that encourage deeper exploration and understanding

The NOSB also hosts annual STEAM Leader Challenges on Scoutlier. The challenges include video introductions to ocean science experts and the problems they are addressing through their work. Students answer questions to demonstrate comprehension of and critical thinking based on the content, and submit final product pitches for an opportunity to win a prize.

While this pilot project aims to bring ocean science education to a new community outside of the traditional NOSB competitions, including underrepresented and military-connected teachers and students, NOSB coaches are encouraged to join the Scoutlier platform and learn how they can integrate it into their lessons. If you wish to utilize the NOSB resources – and the many other environmental science, STEM, and technology offerings on Scoutlier – you’ll need to create a free account to gain access. From there you can share assignments with your students, even adapting them for your specific needs.