For Individual Volunteers, NOT Groups

Officiate for the virtual Maine High School Science Bowl

2023 Maine High School Science Bowl Champion: Cape Elizabeth High School team (coach Amy de Vries (left) pictured with four students (alphabetically by last name: Ainsley Fremont, Ben Le, Zoe Matzkin, and Trevor Oakley) holding their


  • Saturday 3/18/2023, 9:30am to 1:30pm or to 5pm ET
  • Rain or shine.
  • Sign up by 2/27/2023

    Join the Backup List if you can reserve this day/time.


This fast-paced question-and-answer competition on subjects* across biology, chemistry, earth and space science, physics, energy, and math will engage high school student teams from throughout Maine.

This is the first year that PMD will be hosting this virtual competition for the National Science Bowl. There will only be one team in a zoom meeting at a time.

*Questions are roughly at the college freshman level.

While no science/engineering knowledge is required to serve as a recognizer-scorekeepers, a positive and supportive attitude and attention to detail are very important for all roles.

We need volunteer moderator-timekeepers, question judge-chatbox scorers, and recognizer-scorekeepers:

  • Moderator-Timekeepers Carefully read aloud all 18 questions and answer choices in their entirety for the students each round for several hours, plus keep track of time it takes for students to raise their hands and begin answering questions. Strong STEM background required. Prior competition experience as a competitor and/or official is strongly recommended since this person runs the competition zoom meeting.
  • Question Judge-Chatbox Scorers Follow along to ensure that moderator reads questions accurately, plus enter scores and running totals in the zoom chatbox. STEM background required. Prior NSB/comparable quiz bowl experience desired but not required.
  • Recognizer-Scorekeepers Call on the first student who raises their hand to answer a question once all answer choices have been read aloud by the moderator, plus enter scores for each question pair and submit online. Requires attentiveness, great listening skills, and focus on game play/details.

Learn more about the National Science Bowl organized by the US Department of Energy at



Note: We only shares zoom links, schedules, and other details with registered volunteers and teams since we cannot accommodate any observers/audience members or walk-ins, i.e., unregistered volunteers or teams.


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) National Science Bowl� (NSB) is a nation-wide academic competition that tests students� knowledge in science and mathematics.
Typically, about 9,000 high school students from 1,500 teams compete in 65 high school regional events across the country.

This virtual competition will provide Maine high school students with fun opportunities to test their knowledge and understanding of math and science, plus collaborate on all of their answers.

This is an official regional competition organized and hosted by nonprofit People Making a Difference (PMD) so that a high school team from Maine will definitely compete in the in-person national finals. PMD aims to strengthen the community, including STEM education, by engaging volunteers as officials and role models. PMD has hosted all of the virtual Blue Lobster Bowl (BLB; MA) and Quahog Bowl (CT & RI) regional competitions (and all prior in-person BLB competitions at MIT) for the National Ocean Sciences Bowl (NOSB), also founded by Admiral James D. Watkins a few years after he founded the National Science Bowl (NSB).



A 1-hour zoom training-practice session is required for all volunteer officials on either:
  • Wednesday 2/8, 2-3pm ET, or
  • Saturday 2/25, 4-5pm ET, or
  • Monday 2/27, 6:30-7:30pm or 8-9pm ET, or
  • Thursday 3/2, 6:30-7:30pm or 8-9pm ET

To officiate, apply by 2/27 at

Incomplete submissions cannot be honored.

We canNOT accept any UNregistered volunteers.

Participation is required for the entire project shift for which you sign up.

AFTER the 2/27 application deadline, interested volunteers can join the backup list, since we anticipate cancellations due to illnesses.
Joining the PMD backup list means making a commitment to reserve the shift and training night you select until the date you provide.

Call PMD if you cannot apply using our form.
If you experience any difficulty applying online to volunteer with PMD, please immediately CALL THE PMD OFFICE at (*82) 1-781-963-0373 so that we can help you AND troubleshoot the problem so that other potential volunteers will not face the same problem. Thanks!

After you apply, you will see a confirmation screen and receive a confirmation email message, so be sure to save the training-practice and competition dates and times on your calendars AND add [email protected] AND [email protected] to your address/white/allow list.

Then a few days before your training-practice session and this competition PMD will email specific details, what to wear/expect, checklist, important links/downloads, etc.



High school teams from Maine will compete virtually for the opportunity to represent Maine in the national finals competition in Washington, DC, 4/27-5/1.

PMD volunteer Erika (nee Brown) Wagner will be the Maine High School Science Bowl's keynote speaker. Dr. Wagner serves as Sr. Director of Emerging Markets for Blue Origin, where she works to improve access to space for science, technology, arts, education, and entrepreneurship. Her interdisciplinary background includes a bachelor's degree in Biomedical and Aerospace Engineering from Vanderbilt University; a master's degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics from MIT; and a doctoral degree in Bioastronautics from the Harvard/MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology (HST). Her research has spanned both human and mammalian adaptation to microgravity, partial gravity, and centrifugation, as well as organizational innovation and prize theory. She is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, an alumna of the International Space University, a trustee of the Museum of Flight, an honoree of the Space Camp Hall of Fame, and a member of the National Academies Space Studies Board.

People Making a Difference (PMD) is a nonprofit organization that promotes informed and responsible volunteerism by involving people in tangible work that meets local needs and by assisting companies 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



What Participants Say About Competing in the NSB

"NSB allows students to 'find their tribe,' which could mean everything to a student."


�It�s the things outside of the classroom where you really get to put your heart and soul into it.�

�...if you need encouragement as an educator.�

� be reminded of (my) goal to lift up society.�

�(The students�) thirst for knowledge is incredible.�

�(The students�) drive to learn more made me want to learn more." �It�s crazy how (the students) are teaching each other.�

"Thanks to you and the volunteers for organizing a well-run meet."
Coach Glenn Evans, Mt. Ararat High School Coach 2023


�(standard science) classes weren�t enough for my curiosity.�

�...a reason to study other topics of interest.�

�...for kids who want to go the extra mile.�

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