Put Your Knowledge to the Test


All is silent in the room, the anticipation of victory weighing heavily, holding everyone’s tongues. An adult at the front of the room, clad in the colors of the school he teaches at, speaks up. “Five seconds to buzz,” he says, voice monotone but eyes sharp, scanning the device below him for light. There it is!  “Team C has buzzed in,” he drawls, as there is a flurry of activity near the far table. The students sitting there make hand gestures at each other before one of them turns towards the buzzer-keeper, and answers the question that was laid out before them only thirty seconds before. Afterward, win or lose, there is a feeling of satisfaction. Of knowing more than they did previously. And it’s glorious.

“It’s a Jeopardy-style tournament where students answer questions, orally and written, in regards to subjects that they would learn in school,” said Mrs. White, the Knowledge Bowl Coordinator, on the nature of the competition. Last Saturday, Pine Creek students participated in the last general meet of the Pikes Peak Region Knowledge Bowl season. “It’s just nice, being around smart people,” said Noah Barrionuevo (11), on his first impression of Knowledge Bowl.

The competition consists of three Oral Rounds and a written round, each one about forty-five minutes to an hour long. Contestants, with their teams, work together to answer questions. The catch? There is no verbal communication between contestants. Hand signals are the only signals allowed. “Even though you can’t communicate while you’re playing a round, I think there’s definitely a lot of good communication that happens between questions and between rounds as you try to talk and the feedback from the people on your team really helps you grow,” said Kastyn Borg (11), one of the Junior Leaders of the Knowledge Bowl Team. 

Once all four rounds have been completed, contestants return to the presentation room to wait for the scores. Each team congratulates the others, as they await victory or defeat. Teams are ranked by the number of questions they got correct, with the best team at the top. Then, they are placed into League rankings, which combine all the scores from every meet. Pine Creek is currently 4th place in the League, with hopes of winning big at Regionals on January 29, at Liberty High School.