Academic team competes in scholastic bowl, expands knowledge and connections throughout team



Academic team practices with their buzzers during a practice.

From studying Vincent van Gogh’s Post-Impressionism art to knowing the name of the basketball player who won six NBA championships with the Chicago Bulls, the academic team practices throughout the school year. When the time comes and the pressure is on, they know the exact answers to random questions like these. Two teams, each representing a different school, are given questions from a variety of categories ranging from science to current politics. They must be the first to buzz in to answer the question in order to gain the point. Each match consists of three rounds each with different requirements of who can answer the questions. Participating in the Scholastic Bowl not only creates opportunities for students to learn more, but is also a way for students to get to know other people who enjoy the same type of academic setting. 

Senior Safiyyah Ogundipe has been participating on the academic team for multiple years. The academic team provides a place for Ogundipe to enjoy her love of trivia while being able to learn new things in areas she may not learn about often. Ogundipe also finds that participating in it encourages her to expand her knowledge in the subjects she is confident in. 

“I am really into trivia, trivia games, watching game shows and stuff like that. [I joined the academic team] because it helps you improve your own knowledge, and now that I’m part of the team I’ve put it upon myself to learn more about literature and music so that I can help answer more questions,” Ogundipe said. 

While competing in a Scholastic Bowl competition may seem daunting to many people, Ogundipe enjoys it because she can use her strengths and the strengths of her peers to her team’s advantage. While Ogundipe is most comfortable in one subject, her peers may have more knowledge in a completely different area, so she can work with her teammates to answer questions that she may not know as much about. 

“One good thing about academic team is that even if you don’t know a lot about [different] subjects, [knowing] a lot about one particular subject can be very valuable. I am really interested in science and math, and that’s good because I can help answer science questions. There are people on our team that are really good with sports or really good with government, and they can help answer those questions as well,” Ogundipe said. 

Participating on the academic team not only expands your knowledge, but can be a fun way to bond with students who enjoy the same things as you. While senior Isaac Sawin likes the competition aspect, he also appreciates the connections and the memories that he is able to make with his team. 

“My favorite part is probably the competitions because this year we’re actually winning, which is fun. Usually, we go out to eat afterwards which is pretty cool and you get to know people really well and get to spend more time with them which is good,” Sawin said. 

In addition to Sawin and Ogundipe, junior Maggie Botticelli participates in academic team. Botticelli finds that participating in a Scholastic Bowl allows her to learn things that she wouldn’t normally spend time learning about. She also enjoys the social connections she makes and the people that she meets during the competitions. 

“It’s really fun if you know random facts, and [it] makes you study lots of random things,” Botticelli said. “[My favorite part is] doing the competitions. You’re put on a random team each time so you’re always with someone new.”

While to some the main purpose of the academic team is to learn new topics and compete to win, Ogundipe finds that at the end of the day, whether the team did well or poorly, the experiences that she loves the most are when she is simply spending time with her team. Ogundipe enjoys that the team is willing to celebrate their wins, but also accept their losses and move on to their next match with a positive mindset. 

“My favorite part is working as a team. We’re doing a lot better this year than we have in past years. Even in past years when we weren’t doing so well, it was just a really nice team effort because we know we all did our best and we can laugh about the mistakes we made,” Ogundipe said.