SANTA MONICA—Santa Monica High School won the regional round of the National Ocean Sciences Bowl Saturday, February 23. This has been the fourth year in a row that the school has won. Santa Monica High School will go on to compete in the country’s capital in Washington D.C. in April.

For the 20th  year, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory hosted the annual Surf Bowl in Pasadena. The Surf Bowl is an all-day competition which involves multiple teams of high school students who answer questions regarding fish biology, the history of ocean exploration, wind turbine components, and ocean wildlife protection policies.

For the first round, Santa Monica High School lost during the double-elimination period of the competition. Santa Monica High School came back to win two rounds against Arcadia High School where Arcadia landed in second place. University High School in Irvine came in third place. Both Alhambra and Mark Keppel High School won for best sportsmanship.

Ingo Gaida who is an instructor at Santa Monica High School has coached Surf Bowl teams for 17 years. To aid in the student’s preparation Gaida teaches a class where students train for different academic competitions. Santa Monica High School won second place in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl in 2018 and won first place in 2017.

Gaida indicated that many students who participated in the Surf Bowl have gone on to study ocean and environmental sciences. High school senior Derek Wen of Santa Monica High School said that after the competition he has considered the possibility of studying environmental science in college.

“I’ve thought about it now that I know what is happening to our planet,” Wen said to JPL.

Another member of the Santa Monica team Ireland Neville stated that the victory was even sweeter because it took place at JPL.