Apply to volunteer by 2/8/18 at

WHAT     Run the 2018 Blue Lobster Bowl (BLB)
         Foster enthusiasm for learning by officiating:
         keep score, keep time, run, judge rules*,
         moderate**, judge science,  grade written
         team responses***, or organize the science room

WHEN     Competition: Saturday, 3/3 
         9:25 AM to 3:30, 4:30, or 6:30 PM

         Blizzard Postponement Day: Sunday 3/4 
         (If the 3/3 competition is postponed to 3/4 
         due to severe weather, the BLB will let 
         you know by Friday 3/2.)

         Commitment for BOTH 3/3 and 3/4 required for all volunteers.

         Training/Practice Sessions at MIT except on 2/26:
         Saturday, 2/24, 3:30-5:30pm at MIT
         Sunday, 2/25, 9:30-11:30am 
         Sunday, 2/25, 12noon-12:45pm for dual 2/24 NSB volunteer officials only
         Sunday 2/25 evening conference call (for science room graders only)
         Monday 2/26, 3-5pm at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 
         Tuesday 2/27 6-8pm
         Tuesday 2/27 8:30-10:30pm

WHERE    MIT, Cambridge

WHY      Support 150 high school students who are interested in
         and knowledgeable about the natural world
         by staffing the National Ocean Sciences Bowl
         "Blue Lobster Bowl" (BLB) regional competition,
         a fast-paced, one-day competition among
         24 teams from MA high schools
         Topics include the biology, chemistry, geology,
         physics, history, and economics of the ocean
         as well as ocean-related current events. The
         winning team will compete in the national finals
         in Boulder, CO, in April. For more background, visit

         This is a fun, fast-paced competition which 
         more than 475 PMD volunteers have enjoyed 
         helping in these critical roles since 1999.

         It takes 80+ volunteers to staff all 12 
         competition rooms for 24 teams, keeping
         time, keeping score, and judging rules*, 
         moderating**, plus grading*** team responses. 

         For descriptions of BLB volunteer roles, 

         Each volunteer will receive a free t-shirt, snack, and lunch.

         Time-keeping, score-keeping, runner, and 
         science room organizing volunteers
         need NO science/ocean knowledge, just keen
         attention to detail, positive attitudes toward all
         competitors and schools, and attentive patience
         during down times while questions are being
         challenged/graded and between rounds.

         We will need 20 experienced volunteers to help until
         4:30pm to officiate for the semifinal rounds, 
         and hopefully 10 out of the 20 to stay and officiate
         for the championships rounds.

         We also need qualified (i.e., ocean science
         backgrounds/careers) Science Judges/role models in the 
         competition rooms and as Science Room Graders for
         the written Team Challenge responses as well
         as scientific challenge resolution.
         Qualified = OCEAN science or OCEAN engineering
         education, career, and/or experience.

         Most volunteers MUST PREPARE for and PARTICIPATE
         in at least one, 2-hour, 2018 training/practice
         session so they are able to function without 
         errors during this high-intensity competition. 
         The only exception are 2/24/18 Northeast Regional 
         Middle School Science Bowl volunteer officials, 
         for whom a 45-minute "differences" session 
         will be offered 2/25/18, 12:00-12:45pm at MIT.

         Even if you have volunteered for or participated in 
         NOSB, BLB, or another quiz bowl or science competition, 
         you must actively participate in training in order 
         to familiarize yourself with the rules & regulations
         and to demonstrate your mastery of the moderator, 
         science judge, rules judge, timekeeper, and/or 
         scorekeeper role(s). 

         Training Exceptions: 
        -New/potential moderators must do TWO (2) sessions. 
        -Science graders must participate in a 
         20-minute conference call to be scheduled on 
         Sunday 2/25 evening, to be scheduled based on 
         doodle/majority available.

        -We prefer runners who cross-train as time-
         and scorekeepers, but will accept dedicated 
         runners available on both 3/4&5 but 
         unable to attend a training/practice session.
         The 2018 Blue Lobster Bowl is hosted by
         MIT Sea Grant, and PMD is in charge of the
         entire competition, competitors and volunteers alike. 

         This is a fragrance-free and nut-free event.
         Volunteers may not use/wear scented hair/face/hand/body/clothing products,
         including soaps and lotions, nor bring
         or consume anything containing nuts.

        *Only experienced volunteers, past competitors, 
         and volunteers with legal backgrounds serve
         as primary rules judges, given the complexity of
         the rules and fast pace of this competition.
       **Only experienced volunteers and past competitors
         who have volunteered at least one year in another
         capacity generally serve as moderators given the
         complexity of this role. New moderators
         must participate/audition in TWO (2) training/
         practice sessions in order to be considered for this role.
      ***We particularly need and encourage past competitors
         and ocean science and engineering educators and
         graduate students to work as a team to grade
         written team responses and to resolve scientific
         challenges rapidly.

HOW      Get involved! Volunteers run this entire competition. 
         Please apply only when you can definitely commit to 
         both the competition and snow dates and at least one training session. 
         Apply by 2/8 at

         We particularly welcome high school teachers and student 
         volunteers considering forming their own, future BLB 
         teams, but we cannot accommodate groups, 
         so each individual member of a group/family must 
         register him-/her-self separately. 

         Incomplete submissions cannot be honored,
         even if you have previously volunteered.

         No partial participation can be accommodated
         for this competition. This means that we
         canNOT accommodate any late arrivals or earlier-
         than-scheduled departures.

         After you sign-up, you will see a confirmation screen
         AND receive a confirmation email message.
         Then PMD will email your role(s) and specific details
         the week before training, including directions to MIT
         by public transit and by car, checklist and homework
         on how to prepare, map, and a waiver.

         Then a few days before the competition, PMD will
         email final details about the competition day.

WHO      People Making a Difference (PMD) is a
         nonprofit organization that promotes informed
         and responsible volunteerism by involving
         people in meaningful, hands-on work that
         meets local needs and by assisting companies
         and charities in building successful community
         involvement programs that:
       - Produce appreciable results while
         conserving recipients' limited resources,
       - Educate volunteers about broader issues,
       - Bring people together to make a difference.

"Preparation through steady practice is the only
honest avenue to achieving your potential."
--Chi Chi Rodriguez

***Summary of Upcoming PMD Events***

People Making a Difference (PMD)
PO Box 120189, Boston, MA 02112
Office (*82)1-781-963-0373
View PMD Photos & Like Us on Facebook
Follow/Like the Blue Lobster Bowl on Facebook, too!