Every Tuesday after school a group of students gather in Jody Dixon’s classroom at Discovery High School to answer questions, study, and train for their trip to compete at The National Quiz Bowl Championship in Chicago this May.
Quiz Bowl is a team academic competition placing schools in head-to-head competition against each other in a question and answer format slightly reminiscent of TV quiz shows. “The questions start off with really esoteric identifiers and gradually make their way to revealing more and more info. We have a great bunch of students and they are going up against much larger schools,” says Dixon. Discovery High School, whose current enrollment is 132 students in grades 9-12, often competes against teams from schools of 1500 students or more…creating an image of The Little Engine That Could.
The students qualified for the national competition by placing third in a Regional Quiz Bowl Tournament held in Charlotte. They have the state regional competition coming up in March, and if they perform well enough there, they will move on to the state championship tournament a few weeks later. Last year the team from Discovery won the Western Regional Qualifier. “Competing in the national tournament would be a fantastic opportunity to spread the name and reputation of Discovery High School nationwide,” Senior Gregor McGee exclaimed.
With school budgets tight, the quiz bowl team is looking for ways to fund their trek to Chicago. Sports teams rely on ticket sales to fund their programs, but academic teams often have to raise money to compete at competitions.
Over the next months, Discovery will be raising money to send eight students to the national tournament. “We’ve got a BBQ sale coming up at the end of March to raise money; we’ve got a Donor’s Choose project up where people can fund us online, and our parents have been great supporters as well” says Dixon.
However, because this opportunity has such great potential as a teaching moment, Dixon is hoping to show the students more than the inside of a convention center. “Besides the thrill of victory,” Dixon joked, “I’d like the students to experience the rich culture of the Windy City.” Dixon has plans to take the students to Museum of Natural History as well as other educational stops in Indianapolis on the way to Chicago.
Junior Stephen Bechtel stated, “Quiz Bowl competitions are a great way for students to interact with one another on an … intellectual level. The competition will help Discovery attain some notoriety on the national level and will create a great sense of pride within the school and community.”
You can help them reach their goal by going to Discovery’s Donor’s Choose Page and donating or by buying a plate of BBQ in March.