NHS students earn slot in national quiz bowl contest
NORTHAMPTON — After placing seventh in a quiz bowl academic competition Dec. 7 in South Burlington, Vt., four Northampton High students, members of the school’s NHS Academic team, will head to Atlanta, Ga., next year to compete in the national championships.
In the meantime, they will appear on WGBY-TV’s long-running television program “As Schools Match Wits” tonight, at 7 p.m. The Northampton team will compete against students attending the Williston Northampton School in Easthampton.
At the Dec. 7 event, NHS Academic fielded two teams that competed against 48 other schools from throughout the Northeast. One team — its members included sophomores Katherine Stowe-Thurston, NHS Academic’s captain, and Saadya Cheven, who helps run the team, and juniors Jonah Klein Barton and Ben Tidswell, placed seventh, earning it a slot in the 2013 NAQT (National Academic Quiz Tournaments) High School National Championship. The other team came in 27th in the Vermont competition.
Stowe-Thurston described the Vermont competition as “really tough.”
“Both our teams did pretty well,” she said.
Coached by NHS math teachers Mark Hanson and Wakako Rohlich, the team meets Tuesdays and Fridays from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the second-floor computer lab at the high School.
What are the academic benefits of quiz-bowl competitions?
“It allows the students to see there are people out there who know a lot of stuff,” said Cheven. “I think it shows them you can be successful. That might not be visible in a school environment.”
Stowe-Thurston said she believes the competitions are a great way to learn new things, making acquiring knowledge “more than just a chore.” Because winning quiz bowl competions requires answering questions as fast as possible, Stowe-Thurston said her ability to figure out questions on timed test also has improved.
She said team members are nervous about the nationals, “but we’re really excited, too.”
— PHOEBE MITCHELL