The team of William Zhang, Alison Hardie, Auggie Harner, Shriya Rangaswamy and Deklin Caban qualified for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl from April 16-19 in Gulfport, Miss.
Photo: CONTRIBUTED
Photo: CONTRIBUTED

Centerville students excel in Penguin Bowl academic competition

Penny Manfredi is one of the coaches for Centerville High School’s Ocean Sciences Bowl team, with Beth Cahill. Manfredi said the school took two teams to the regional Penguin Bowl last weekend in Pittsburgh.

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Those teams placed first and second.

The team of William Zhang, Alison Hardie, Auggie Harner, Shriya Rangaswamy and Deklin Caban won the event and qualified for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl from April 16-19 in Gulfport, Miss. The squad will compete against 22 other teams.

The Penguin Bowl, which was hosted by the Pittsburgh Zoo and PPG Aquarium and co-hosted by Youngstown State University, is part of a nationwide competition that tests students’ knowledge of ocean science disciplines through buzzer-style, multiple-choice questions and open-ended team challenge questions.

“Winning this tournament is a really incredible feat, given that we are a landlocked area and our high school does not offer advanced courses in oceanography nor marine biology,” Manfredi said. “This really speaks to the work ethic, tenacity and insatiable desire for knowledge that these students have … The students alone are responsible for learning all this information on their own time and under the guidance of the three coaches.”

This year’s competition theme, “Understanding Human, Economic, and Environmental Resiliency in the Gulf of Mexico,” let students explore the many fascinating and complex functions of the Gulf of Mexico, America’s “living laboratory,” while also connecting scientific processes to the many people who call the Gulf their home, according to event organizers.

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