Teachers and students compete in annual Knowledge Bowl meet

The students patiently wait for Kern to read the questions.

Competing, whether it be sports, chess-club, or even theater, is a staple of high school life. One thing that pushes students to compete with extra intensity is a teacher vs. student event. February 18 marked the date of Knowledge Bowls’ annual “Student vs Teacher Smackdown.” A group of students, primarily seniors, faced a team of teachers to secure the ultimate title of the Champions of the Smackdown. This year, the teachers took home bragging rights.

Each year, the students competing in Knowledge or Quiz Bowl spend months practicing for their meets. The Smackdown may not be seasonally recognized, but the competitors still plan for the event. “We usually divide up into three teams, and one person asks questions as we go through the prompts. It is like a big game of jeopardy,” junior Knowledge Bowl team member Colby Clinton said.

While the students entered the mock meet with a level of preparation, the teachers had no formal practice this year. “The kids prepare all season to strategically answer questions. We used to run a couple practices for the teachers, but then we stopped. Now they just come in blind,” BSM teacher and Knowledge Bowl and Quiz Bowl Moderator Ms. Megan Kern said.

The actual “Student vs Teacher Smackdown” is two rounds of 45 questions, and is a Knowledge Bowl style meet. “There are two events. This one was Knowledge Bowl and the kinds of questions they ask for are science, literacy, math, and sometimes geography related. The students can talk as a team, so as soon as someone buzzes in, you can talk with your team and you have 15 seconds to answer the question,” Kern said.

Quiz Bowl is a separate experience, and is structured differently than Knowledge Bowl. “In Quiz Bowl you just have to bark out a question. You still have a team of four, but you don’t get to talk with your teammates to figure out an answer. Those questions are more pop culture, current events, history, plays, or movies,” Kern said.

Despite more training and practice, the students lost this year’s event by six points. The teachers competing in the event represented a variety of subject areas, and proved that they could triumph without any practice.