Scholars Bowl adds new members

Students competes with area schools in academic trivia competitions, participation numbers higher than ever


Cooper Avery

Seniors Ethan Doores and Kai Blosser participate in a Scholars Bowl practice round on Dec. 3. “I started going to Scholar’s Bowl last year, but I didn’t get to any meets because of cross country. But this year I went to a lot of meets,” Blosser said. The club hosted 18 teams at their annual tournament on Jan. 27.

By Macy Landes

When students choose to participate in Scholars Bowl, they’re asked to know all sorts of information, ranging from the year the Titanic sank to the names of Snow White’s dwarves.

Scholars Bowl is a competition of academic trivia in which students compete for medals against other schools’ teams. Students practice twice a week after school in math teacher Matthew Ellis’ room, asking each other trivia questions and writing their own to ask opponents.

“I like just the whole learning aspect, and it’s more about retention than just trying to get an A on things because, if you remember it, then you do better in Scholars Bowl,” junior club member Noah Mercer said.

Ellis has been sponsoring the club for four years, and it was active before that as well. However, since he took it over, the number of members has grown from eight to 28. The club has seen more participants this year than ever before.

“I think, finally, the word is starting to get out,” Ellis said. “When I took over the program four years ago, I had eight participants, and, you know, it’s hard to get to competitions with eight. But I just hope it keeps growing….I’d love to keep having more and more [participants], it’s a great activity to do.”

Area high schools host Scholar’s Bowl competitions on a weekly basis, usually hosting 15-20 teams at each. LHS hosted its tournament Jan. 27. Scholars prepared for the tournament by simulating 16-question rounds during their practices.

The categories for competition are language arts, social studies, science and health, math, fine arts, year in review, and foreign language. Teams compete head-to-head in 16-questions rounds. Participants must use a buzzer before giving their answer. At the end of the round, whoever has answered more questions correctly wins.

“The students write questions,” Ellis said. “We have to read over them several times to make sure the answers are right. Then, I kind of drop some brackets, invite schools. We had 18 schools come, which is a big tournament, and that’s actually how we make money, is by hosting.”

Ellis said he took over the club because he was involved in Scholars Bowl when he was in high school.

“I participated in high school, when I was at Topeka West, and it’s kind of addicting when you get into the moment and try to see what you know,” Ellis said. “And I still love it. I love to see this aspect of students. You don’t always get to see their academic side, so it’s nice to see their academic side.”

Five club members competed in the regional Scholars Bowl competition in Topeka. Senior Alexus Molina, Stefan Petrovic, Ethan Doores and Jacob Parnell and junior Mary Reed-Weston placed eighth at the Feb. 4 meet.

While winning is the objective when competing in Scholars Bowl, Ellis made it clear that LHS likes to have fun, too.

“What I’m most proud of is the diversity that we bring to this kind of competition,” Ellis said. “I think we have one of the most fun teams that I see at competitions. We are always having fun. Some teams, I think, either take it too seriously, or don’t care one way or the other, but we always have the most fun.”