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Collective thinking: Jefferson, St. Joseph win first HFS Scholars Bowl
Holy Family School launches quiz competition
Members of the Holy Family School Blue Team react after correctly answering a question Monday at the Scholars Bowl, hosted by the school. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune file photo

The first-ever Holy Family School Scholars Bowl saw fifth and sixth graders from seven area grade schools test their knowledge and ability to think quickly. At the end of the day Monday, Great Bend’s Jefferson Elementary School fifth-grade team and Ellinwood’s St. Joseph Elementary sixth-grade team took the first-place honors, but everyone was a winner.

Other results:

Fifth Grade — Lincoln Elementary placed second and there was a three-way tie for third: Park Elementary, the Holy Family Blue Team, and St. Joseph.

Sixth Grade:  The Holy Family White Team placed second and Central Kansas Christian Academy was third.

Riley Elementary in Great Bend also competed.

Prior to the first rounds, HFS Principal Debbie Hagans welcomed a crowd that included teams, volunteers and families.

“We all know this is new to you,” she said. “There are no medals today. The goal is that you learn how to play this before you get into middle school.”

Middle schools and high schools also have Scholars Bowls, she noted.

Students weren’t the only ones learning how the academic competition works. HFS staff and volunteers learned the method for asking questions, scoring, handling the timers and buzzers, and directing teams to the correct rooms. 

The round-robin competition was played according to KSHSAA rules with five players on each team. To start, a school’s fifth-grade team went first, followed by its sixth-grade team. There were seven rounds played with each round having 16 questions – three each from social studies, English language arts, math and science, and one question each from fine arts, sports, miscellaneous and current events. 

Team members could hit the buzzer for a chance to answer each question. If the first person was correct, that team received points. If someone answered incorrectly, members of the other team had time for someone to hit the buzzer.

Some students were quick to answer questions but answering too soon could be risky. “If you buzz in early and you’re wrong, you lose points,” Hagans warned.

Each student had a pencil and paper, which helped them answer math problems such as: If a family leaves home in their car at 7 a.m. and drives 290 miles to their destination, arriving at noon, what was their average speed? (The answer is 58 mph.)

Hagans said she hopes there will be more elementary Scholars Bowls here in the future and that more students will get involved. No athletic skills are required, she noted. “This is something every kid can do.”