By Jessie Rowles
Special to the Union
Starting this past November, students at St. Francis Middle School have had an opportunity to participate in a new academic extra-curricular activity, Knowledge Bowl.
“Knowledge Bowl is an interdisciplinary academic competition involving teams of up to six students trying to answer questions in a written round and up to five students in an oral round,” said Ted Gehring, St. Francis Middle School teacher and Knowledge Bowl coach.
Team groupings are rearranged after each round on the basis of total points accumulated.
The middle school is one of 28 middle schools in the state competing in Knowledge Bowl Program coordinated by Metros ECSU/Success Beyond the Classroom.
Knowledge Bowl offers students a new avenue to exercise their scholastic aptitudes and abilities.
The program acknowledges students for their academic excellence, promotes participation from all students involved at each practice and competitive meet, helps students work together in a group or as a team and lets students know and feel that knowledge is power; it’s cool to be smart, said Gehring.
“I participate because I can use my brain for something fun and challenging,” middle schooler Haley Dorumsgaard said. “You have fun and get to work together with great friends. It is tons of fun! It will do it next year.”
While some students may think Knowledge Bowl is only for those who excel in math and language arts, the students who participate quickly learned that all subjects are fair game, Gehring said.
In addition to math and English, typical questions come from several categories: national and world affairs, health and psychology, art and music, literature, biology, current events, earth and physical science, economics and law, world history, world languages, geography, Minnesota history, government and American history.
“This year we were able to field three teams and competed in three middle school tournaments and one high school tournament,” Gehring said.
In each middle school tournament, St. Francis had a team place in the upper echelon of the teams present, he said.
While competing in the high school tournament, the middle schoolers were able to successfully knock off a number of varsity and junior varsity teams, Gehring said.
When student Shelby Roering was asked about this year’s experience, she said, “I participated in Knowledge Bowl because it’s fun and gives you a chance to hang out with your friends while still competing.
“Knowledge Bowl helps me in other subjects and to learn new things. It was really fun and I’ll most likely continue Knowledge Bowl next year in high school.”
Editor’s note: Jessie Rowles is the St. Francis Middle School community relations coordinator.