TEWKSBURY — Are you smarter than a middle schooler? The students on the John W. Wynn Middle School Knowledge Bowl team could definitely put you to the test. Students on the team competed in the 2019 Kendall M. Wallace Greater Lowell Regional Knowledge Bowl this week at Tyngsborough High School.
Seventh and eighth grade boys and girls participated in a Knowledge Bowl club at school and prepared each week under the tutelage of advisor, music instructor Tim Olevsky.
“We really just wanted to focus on fun” he said, explaining that while it is a competition, the goal is to learn information in a no-stress environment.
The team, outfitted with matching Wynn logo collared shirts, commented that they “are proud to be geeks.”
Well, the geeks brought home the second place trophy, besting four other teams and scoring points in all aspects of the two day competition.
The format of the first night was two rounds of competition with three teams each competing. Tewksbury was in the second round of competition against Dracut and Tyngsborough. An earlier round had Lowell, Chelmsford and Billerica competing against each other. The questions covered a range of topics such as current events, mathematics, history, language, geology, science, and more.
Students participated in a mathematics round prior to the onstage portion of the competition and Tewksbury was strong. During the onstage competition, four students from each team would sit at a table on the stage, complete with buzzers and microphones. It was all quite professional as facilitators read questions, checked times, conferred about accuracy, and kept up with the rapid fire answers from the students.
In most cases the moderator did not even have the full question stated before the students buzzed in with an answer. One question was “name the city in California that was destroyed by the 2018 Camp fire” and another was “name the volcano in Hawaii that has been continuously erupting.”
Other questions included “what technology was recently banned in San Francisco,” “name the airline manufacturer who has recently had its planes grounded,” “name the kitchen appliance that is the opposite of a heat engine,” and “a whale was recently discovered with a GoPro camera strapped to it; it is suspected of being what.”
Parents, siblings, teachers and administrators were cheering on all the participants and it seemed everyone was enjoying having their knowledge tested.
The event is organized by Carolyn Rocheleau of the Lowell Public Schools and is in its seventh year. The tournament has expanded from a competition Lowell-only event to now include Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Tewksbury and Tyngsborough, and is a partnership with The Lowell Sun. Wynn Principal John Weir was extremely proud of the students, and he and Assistant Principal Andrew Long were on hand to congratulate the team.
The trophy will join the 2013 and 2015 trophies in the case in the Wynn lobby. Congratulations!