Barrington students win international trivia tourney
Updated: December 20, 2012 2:24PM
BARRINGTON — A group of students from Station Middle School won first place earlier this month in an international trivia competition.
Jeff Price, an extended services teacher at Station, explained that the Knowledge Masters Open is a computer-based competition in which schools from all over the world compete in timed trivia questions. On a recent Friday, the Station Knowledge Masters group formed two teams, answering questions on topics such as politics, paleontology, poetry, physics, philosophy and geography
Price said the school group is open to all students, particularly those who are intellectually curious, well-read and outspoken.
“They’re a fun group,” he said. “Other people are amazed at what they can do.”
Eighth-grader Brock Calamari said he first heard about the group from his sister.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “I’m interested in trivia, so I came here and I enjoy it.”
Price said schools all over the world compete in these intense, computerized competitions. Using a projector and a smart board, students respond to timed trivia questions. The Knowledge Masters Open included middle school students from as far away as China and Singapore.
“At the beginning, we were failing,” said eighth-grader Matthew Lehmann. “We were on pace for 1521, which is a pathetic score. We were saying that we were sure when we really weren’t sure. Then we hit our stride after Anna took over as smart board person.”
Eighth-grader Pranav Sivakumar, who is also a spelling bee champion, also agreed that the team picked up steam toward the end of the competition.
“First, we were missing a lot of questions, then we kind of sped up,” he said.
The Knowledge Masters Open, which is part of National Academic Quiz Tournaments, also included schools from Iowa, Louisiana, Pennsylvania and Kansas, among other states.
Price explained that the competition used to be for high school students only. In recent years, however, a middle school component was added. Knowledge Masters introduces students to the program by making presentations at elementary schools to pique children’s’ curiosity, Price explained.
Price, who reported that this is the third Knowledge Masters team he’s coached, said he is very proud of the Station Middle School team. The remaining goal is qualify for the state and national championships, which both will be held next April.
“This is going to be an awesome team,” Price said. “I can’t wait until the next tournament. This is not the end. This is just the beginning for us.”