WSG News Blog

Tesla STEM High School Wins First Place at First-Ever Virtual Orca Bowl Competition

March 9, 2021

The Junior Olympics of Marine Science in the Northwest

Seattle, WA – On the first weekend of March 2021, 12 teams of high school students from across the state logged on to participate in the first-ever virtual Orca Bowl marine science competition. The teams were quizzed on their marine science knowledge in four exciting rounds for a spot in the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB) Finals, which will be held virtually in May and feature a theme of: “Plunging into Our Polar Seas”.

A newcomer team from Tesla STEM High School clinched first place at their first appearance in an Orca Bowl competition. Second place went to Newport High School Team A and long-time competitor, Garfield High school came in third. 

Despite being virtual this year, the spirit of the event continued with many volunteers donning marine-themed costumes and festive Zoom backgrounds a creative commonplace.  The goal of Orca Bowl, however, was more than just a day of fun. The event is meant to promote education and inspire the next generation of marine scientists and ocean stewards. Even as our coastal ecosystems contend with threats including climate change, ocean acidification, habitat degradation, and fishing pressure, the dedication of these students – who regularly spent several hours studying after school to prepare for the event – demonstrates that the next generation has what it takes to fight for the planet. 

Orca Bowl is organized by Washington Sea Grant, a program within the UW College of the Environment. Thank you to our local sponsors who make Orca Bowl possible:

Major Local Sponsors:

  • UW Washington Sea Grant
  • UW School of Oceanography
  • UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Science
  • Seattle Aquarium
  • Sound Experience


The 2021 NOSB program is made possible through the following major sponsors:

  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Wendy & Eric Schmidt
  • The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration
  • American Honda Foundation
  • The Curtis and Edith Munson Foundation

For more information, contact Maile Sullivan at (206) 543-2822 or