Questions such as this one and other random trivia are commonly asked during Knowledge Bowl meets. Knowledge Bowl is similar to Jeopardy. Some categories for questions include science, geography, history, literature and math.
The format of Knowledge Bowl meets varies depending on the state and schools participating. Each school that participates in the meets has multiple teams made up of 3-5 students. Typically, there are three rounds of fifty questions with a break after the second round for food. Some states have written rounds as well. Each round takes place in a classroom. Three teams from different schools compete against each other in each room to try and answer as many questions correctly as possible.
When a question is read and a team knows the answer, they hit a buzzer on the table. Teams can buzz in as soon as the reader starts the question. If a team incorrectly answers a question before the reader has finished, other teams who have not buzzed in can ask the reader to finish and then answer the question. Once the team buzzes in, they then have 15 seconds to answer the question before they lose their turn and the next team has a chance to answer.
Each team has a team captain who is the only one who is allowed to answer the question unless they defer to a teammate. The first team to hit the buzzer and answer correctly gets a point. If no teams have buzzed in five seconds after the question is asked, the question is dead and can no longer be answered. The three highest scoring teams after the first three rounds have a final round of 25-50 questions. The winner of the final round wins the meet.
English Teacher Tim Kahl has been the Knowledge Bowl coach in Helix for five years. Helix competes against Hermiston, Stanfield, Echo and Umatilla. “My favorite part of coaching Knowledge Bowl is the food and kids with funny answers,” Kahl says. Kahl mentions one incident when a student was attempting to answer a math question about the average of a few numbers and ended up giving an answer that was much larger than the original numbers.
Alyssa Keene, a Senior at Griswold High School, joined Knowledge Bowl her Freshman year. “I thought it would be a fun experience and full of opportunities to actually get involved somewhere,” Keene says. Keene admits that the Knowledge Bowl questions are sometimes very hard which makes it a very big accomplishment when they are answered correctly. “My favorite part of Knowledge Bowl is getting a question right for once,” Keene says.
It is difficult for teams to practice because questions are random and are different every meet. Kahl uses questions from previous meets to practice. “If you want to do well,watch Jeopardy, read random trivia books and pay attention in school,” Kahl says.
Unfortunately, due to the lack of district funding and lack of interest, Kahl says that he doesn’t plan on coaching Knowledge Bowl next year. Kahl says that he would like to see more funding and general interest from the school for Knowledge Bowl “It would be nice if we could have uniforms or a bus,” Kahl says.
For those who are not interested in sports, Knowledge Bowl is a school activity that they can be included in. Unless more funding is provided and more people get involved, school activities like Knowledge Bowl will no longer be available for students to participate in.