First Middle School Academic Quiz Bowl

Martin Middle Takes Top Spots in First County Academic Quiz Bowl
Posted on 05/05/2022
This is the image for the news article titled Martin Middle Takes Top Spots in First County Academic Quiz BowlWith questions ranging from Who is the yellow sponge that lives under the sea? to Name the four newest chemical elements and what device is used to synthesize them, academic prowess was on display at the county’s first Academic Quiz Bowl on May 3.

Martin Middle School served as both the locale for the competition and ensured that the prizes didn’t have far to travel as their two teams took first and second place with a Greenfield team claiming third.

Students from Sharon, Greenfield and Martin participated in the first-ever Academic Quiz Bowl. The event, sponsored by the Charger Foundation and their Charger Fellows Program, was the brainchild of Whitney Stover, a Charger Foundation member, who oversaw gathering the study material from the National Academic Quiz Bowl testing bank and working with the schools as well as serving as the night’s emcee.

“This is high level middle school material,” she said of the packet and sample questions given in advance to each school. “But the point is it exposes them and, while they are studying, they learn things that are above and beyond what they learned in the classroom but that are appropriate for their age level.”

The 1st place team from Martin included Seth Smith, Canyon Chandler, Colin Stroh, and Alex Pitz and earned $400 in prize monies. The 2nd place team, also from Martin, was Lilly Wilson, Kella Simmons, Erica Crawford, and Alexis Waldon. They split $200. Greenfield’s Callie Harrington, Levi Irby, Annabelle Lovell, Campbell McCallister, and Noah Wilson came in third.

Teams were challenged in four rounds of ten questions per round covering Science/Math, Literature, History/Geography, and a Grab Bag round with 10 points per question. Each school had up to two teams on the Martin Middle theater stage, seated at tables and using buzzers to buzz in their answers

Winners Smith, Chandler, Stroh and Pitz also took the top spot when Martin Middle students competed in a prior contest to see who would represent the school in the county bowl.

“They are model students, not only do they excel in the classroom, but they do in the hallways, they do on the athletic fields, they do in the gym, in the band room, in our art classes, in everything they do,” said MMS Principal John Lifsey.

Interviewed the day after the competition, Stroh said they thought they were behind for most of the competition. They agreed one of the hardest questions they tackled was not from science, math, history, or geography but more along the lines of pop culture. Pac Man almost caused them to stumble but Stroh’s volume and correct response drowned out the error, and they captured the points.

The team praised Smith’s perfected speed on the buzzer as getting in just as the “Go” was announced and not a second before required finesse.

While the county competition numbered each team, they said at the MMS competition they had proudly called themselves the Nerds, noting that it was “with an s” as another team had taken the popular game with the z as their name.

As for the prize money, several of the gentleman scholars already have plans for it. Smith says his mother is matching the $100 and he will put the money towards a new trombone. Stroh says his will go into his savings and he will “buy something big.” Chandler is also saving. He wants a new video card for his computer. Pitz confessed, “I have absolutely no clue what I’m going to do with it!”
They agreed the experience was “stressful but fun” and Principal Lifsey pointed out that with three sixth graders and a seventh grader they would be the “defending champions next year.”

His confidence in the four was underscored as he noted, “If we have a high school champion, I wouldn’t mind throwing these guys up against them. In fact, I’m calling out all the high schools, send your best because we’ve got the best.”

four boys stand with principal in front of a bulletin board
The first countywide Academic Quiz Bowl saw Martin Middle School claim first place. Shown here with Principal John Lifsey are Seth Smith, Canyon Chandler, Alex Pitz, and Colin Stroh.

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