A common activity for the whole middle school in the mornings are quiz bowls. In past years the middle school has had multiple quiz bowls in the first semester, but in the 2015-2016 school year there have been none yet.
For the fifth graders and newcomers to ASL who have never experienced one, a quiz bowl is an event where a boy and a girl from each grade get elected to compete for their color group to answer questions. Questions range from things like recent movies, new books and new popular songs to things about the school and how to spell teachers’ names.
To answer a question, a student must buzz in. They do this by pressing the buzzer after the question is asked and the first person out of the eight boys and girls from each grade gets the opportunity to answer the question. If someone answers correctly they score points for their team. If the question is answered incorrectly, the other team gets a chance to answer. If both teams answer the question incorrectly, the quiz master shows the answer to the rest of the middle school and no one receives points.
What grade a student is in will determine how many points you receive for your correct answer. If a fifth grader answers a question they will receive more points than if an eighth grader answers the same question. In the end, the team with the most points wins the quiz bowl.
“Although there is a competitive aspect to quiz bowls where students really want their team to win, that isn’t the goal of them,” said, Mr. Payson Bullard, Coordinator of Student Life, who organizes and runs the quiz bowls. By answering the questions in a quiz bowl, it brings students together by routing for their team and bonding together as a middle school.
A quiz bowl is all about answering questions, but these questions are much different than the ones that are asked in class. “[Building student knowledge] takes place in your 80 minute classes with your teachers,” said Mr. Bullard. But, quiz bowls can be great to learn little things that can stick with you for a long time. For example, a quiz bowl once asked how to spell the last name of the then middle school assistant principal, Mr. Peter Lutkoski. Both teams answered incorrectly. After that, most students in the middle school knew how to spell his name.
This year there was a planned quiz bowl that did not take place. It was originally scheduled for December 11, but then the student council voted to host the winter spirit assembly instead of a quiz bowl. Students played winter themed games and dressed up in wintery clothes to try and win spirit points for their grade.
As of now, there is no quiz bowl planned for this school year. If there was to be one it would have to be after parent-teacher conferences in February. “I fully expect we’ll have one, It’s on my to-do list,” said Mr. Bullard. “I hope to have one or two before the end of the school year.”