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Most students would not spend their weekend learning about history recreationally, but Quiz Bowl kids are not those kind of kids.
From Apr. 26-28, Quiz Bowl competed at the National History Bee and Bowl at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Crystal City, Va. The team that participated in the History Bowl event was made up of junior president Arnav Patra, junior vice president Mollika Singh (this writer), junior treasurer Surya Perla and sophomore Bojun Li. The team made it into the upper bracket this year, placing them in the top 50 in the nation.
Quiz Bowl is a buzzer-based team competition, often affectionately referred to as “Jeopardy! with teams” by participants. History Bowl is the same with questions only on history and a slightly nonstandard format, with four quarters.
Patra notes that participation in National History Bowl is relatively new for this school. “We’ve taken part in History Bowl since my freshman year. In my freshman year, we were varsity middle bracket champion, and last school year we were able to come 20th in the nation,” Patra said.
Li participated in the Bowl event for the first time this year. “The Bowl event was very memorable for me. It was the first time I got to compete with so many strong teams from across the nation. I thought that we did great as a team, even though we do have a lot of room for improvement,” Li said.
Each team member also participated in individual events. In Bee events, individuals play on a buzzer system and in Olympiad events, individuals compete for the highest score on a written test. In the Varsity United States History Bee, Patra placed 38th, Perla placed 45th, and Singh placed 79th. In the Varsity Geography Olympiad, Patra placed 13th and Perla placed 20th. Li participated in the Junior Varsity National History Bee and placed 83rd nationally.
That was Li’s first time participating in a Bee event as well. “Bee for me was a lot scarier than Bowl, because since History bee was an individual event, there were no teammates there to help me during a match, which was something I had gotten used to,” Li said.
In addition to the History Bowl team members, two novices also participated in individual events. Sophomores Angela Yu and Joyce Wang both participated in the Junior Varsity United States History Bee and placed 57th and 105th, respectively. “They were able to be on the national stage for the first time in their high school careers and for most of them in their first year ever, which represents a significant amount of skill and dedication. I’m very proud of them,” Patra said.
Yu and Wang coupled their preparation with studying for the AP U.S. History Exam. “I did history bowl because I was already studying for APUSH and the U.S. History SAT Subject Test. I thought it would be efficient to do history bowl as well, especially since I actually enjoy history. Plus, it would be an extra motivator for me to study hard for my other US History stuff,” Wang said.
Quiz Bowl meets weekly on Thursdays after school in room 286. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @woottonquizbowl on Instagram for more information.