Brain power: Academic Bowl wins conference

Journalistic Writing Class*, staff writers

At a tense conference championship in Vernon Hills, members of Academic Bowl have mere seconds to answer a complex question and slam the buzzer before their competitors. After successfully doing so, they were able to pull through with a win. Answering Academic Bowl questions requires a combination of knowledge and quick thinking, junior Harlan Warnsman, Academic Bowl member explained.

“There’s really a competitive edge to [Academic Bowl], which is why it is so attractive to a lot of people,” Warnsman said. “It is not just like taking a quiz or a test to prove your knowledge. It’s also about being quick and competitive.”

Academic Bowl is similar to Jeopardy or trivia, and South’s team competes against other schools with questions about topics ranging from opera to science, Carrie Fraher, Academic Bowl Sponsor and Math Teacher, explained. In a standard match, interchangeable teams of five people answer toss-up questions, one question given for each team to answer. Individuals on the team answer these questions, but if answered incorrectly, each toss-up question is available to steal by opposing teams Fraher said.

“Some players are very fast at answering [questions] and knowing things quickly,” Fraher said. “Working as a team of five people helps us score more points by [having] knowledge in certain topics.”

The success of the extracurricular depends on the members’ individual efforts, senior Minjae Lee, Academic Bowl member, explained. The competitive and fun nature of Academic Bowl encourages students to explore topics that they are not experienced in.

“The best asset to any Academic Bowl player is to have random connections and know a lot of random knowledge, and that really appeals to me,” Lee said.

Like any new unfamiliar activity, Academic Bowl can be intimidating to someone trying it for the first time, Lee said. South students are often unaware that they actually possess a lot of knowledge about certain topics, and their abilities can support the team, Lee emphasized. In Academic Bowl, the individual strengths of team members bring people together and ensure success, junior Jaden Welch-Jani, varsity Academic Bowl team Captain, said.

“I’m just really proud of the team,” Welch-Jani said. “We have had a lot of people who have been doing well in the subjects that they’re good at. It has been a good team effort.”

*Jessica An, Chloe Fellinger, Kaitlyn Jiang, Ashley Libasci, Everett Perschall, Allie Sukhman