From Hi-Lights: Students attend academic bowl this spring

Posted March 6, 2017

NOTE: This article appeared in the February 2017 edition of the Plymouth High School newspaper, Hi-Lights. Look for a copy in the high school office.

By Monica Yolich
of the Hi-Lights staff

This spring will mark the second year our school will attend the conference academic bowl.

It will take place on March 7 at Kettle Moraine High School. After the attendees are served dinner, written exams will take place at around 5 p.m. This is an individual multiple choice test.

Two students are nominated per subject to compete in. The first student is the one who will compete for a medal and partake in the verbal testing. The second runner-up is called an alternate. These students can take any test they desire, but their score will not count for anything.  These students are able to get a taste of how the testing works.

The scores of the written exams will determine what individuals will be awarded a medal, based on the score they received. After written exams, the schools compete against each other by subject verbally. The number of questions answered correctly will place the schools at different levels.

“You know how you watch those teenage shows on quiz bowl and people just have to know a lot of random information? That’s what [the academic bowl] is,” said science teacher Carrie Pieper.

The academic bowl is made up of four subjects that students learn in school. Teachers discuss certain students that have good grades and excel in certain subjects. The students who best fit the criteria are then chosen to attend the academic bowl. The selected students to attend will take both a written and verbal exam on the subject they were nominated for.

The setup for the verbal testing is almost like a TV show. A question is viewed on a screen, and an announcer reads the question aloud. Each school will have a certain duration of time to agree, and submit its answer.

Students attending the academic bowl are granted opportunity to envelop themselves around a competitive environment.

Sophomore Michael Troka attended the 2016 academic bowl and he will attend again this year. He was nominated for multiple subjects including, math, current events, and grammar. “I feel it’s a great opportunity to take advantage of,” he said. “It’s competition between us and the schools in our conference, so it’s really cool to see how we face up against other schools in terms of academics.”

The academic bowl will be made up of students who find school intriguing. “[The academic bowl is going to be] a bunch of people who are really smart and nerdy, and people who take [the competition] seriously, but I think it will be fun,” said sophomore Charlotte Suttner, who will compete in grammar.

At the end of the testing, individuals and schools are awarded medals. Each subject is broken down into units of study. Those who score the highest on the written exam are awarded a gold medal. Second receives a silver, and third is given a bronze. Lastly, schools are awarded a medal based on their performance during the verbal exam. Last year PHS placed fourth overall. Mrs. Pieper hopes that as a team PHS will place higher this year.

Not only do students get to experience the competitive workplace at the academic bowl, but it also looks great on college applications and even qualifies students for the Vogt scholarship. “I think we have a pretty awesome team. The people teachers selected have shown a lot of enthusiasm to being a part of the team,” Mrs. Pieper said.