Monday, March 14, 2016

WHS Knowledge Bowl Team earns Third in Regionals

High school Knowledge Bowl is where education meets competition. The new program at Washougal High School recently buzzed in an impressive third place Regional finish on February 22 held at Lower Columbia College in Longview.  Their sights are now set on the State competition on March 19 in Arlington, WA.

Pam Crockford, WSD Substitute Teacher, is the new WHS Knowledge Bowl coach after a previous coach left the district.  Crockford has coached the WHS Science Olympiad team for 3 years.  The Science Olympiad team recently earned a second place title at its regional competition also at Lower Columbia College in Longview.  That State meet will be at Eastern Washington University, April 16th.

“I am just learning about the logistics of coaching Knowledge Bowl,” Crockford said.  “But it is not about me. It is about the kids and they are the ones who make it all work.”

Sophomore Emma Hein is the WHS Knowledge Bowl captain.  She and other teammates had come from strong Washougal middle school programs.  As captain, Hein gives the final team answer in competition. “I also help to facilitate which answer is the correct one if several people disagree on the team,” she said. According to Hein, it is difficult to study for competition due to the huge range of questions.  But practice in thinking quickly and working together does help.

Asked if the competitions feel like a sport, Hein agreed that they could be considered mental athletes and they do work as a team.  “Chemistry between team members does impact how well you do,” she explained.  “I‘d say we finally nailed it at regionals.  We worked together and it showed.”

Crockford agrees. “Chemistry is important and so is having fun and enjoying who you are teamed with,” she said. “Having a variety of knowledge backgrounds is a real plus.  It is also good to know who on the team knows what topics really well.”

“At competition a student can buzz in even if you don’t know the answer but they know a teammate who probably does,” explained Hein.  “You have to be fast to push the button.  It can be very strategic.”

This year WHS also has enough interest to field a Junior Varsity team.  “They are a group of kids who really enjoy each other,” Crockford said.  “And they were very strong against some big competition.”