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Knowledge of Maryland pays off for students vying in Quiz Bowl

March 23, 2000|By ANDREA ROWLAND

WILLIAMSPORT - What does Gov. Parris Glendening have in common with the Baltimore Checkerspot butterfly?

The names of Maryland's leader and the state insect both served as brain fodder to the 25 teams of fourth-grade students who competed Tuesday at the second annual Maryland Facts Quiz Bowl.

Each of Washington County's 25 elementary schools was represented in the competition at Williamsport High School. The Fountain Rock Elementary School team was the event's grand champion.

That team's six students and winning teams from Boonsboro, Greenbrier and Pangborn elementary schools will travel Friday to Allegany Community College in Cumberland, Md., to challenge the winning Allegany County teams during the bi-county competition.

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A cross between the game shows "Jeopardy!" and "It's Academic," the quiz bowl gives youngsters a "chance to shine outside the classroom," said Event Organizer Nellie Jordan, a Project Challenge teacher at Williamsport Elementary School.

"There are over 400 questions and some children know all the answers. They have worked so hard," she said.

Many teams met weekly after school to memorize the Maryland facts, spelling words, counties, waterways and neighboring states found in the quiz bowl study guide.

Armed with buzzers, maps and brains full of state facts, participants raced to answer starting, or toss-in, questions and gain 10 bonus points and initial control of the computerized board.

Teams then took turns choosing from one of six categories and five different point values on the board.

Students worked as a group while capitalizing on each other's individual strengths, Jordan said.

Pangborn factmeister Kyle Raios credited his crew's Round One win to teamwork and teammate Casey Hoffman's spelling prowess in the time-sensitive toss-ins.

"He didn't miss one word," said Pangborn team member Sabrina Zeger, 10.

Kids answered questions ranging from, "What product is produced by Westvaco," (paper) to "What is the title of Maryland's state song," (Maryland, My Maryland).

"Is that your final answer?" asked event mediator Jim Newkirk, a county school official. "I've been waiting to say that."

A panel of judges verified correct answers.

Five teams of five students competed in each of five, 45-minute rounds of play. Teams could switch members at timed intervals. Teams with the highest scores from each round squared-off in a final championship match.

From the start of the contest, participants seemed eager to savor the sweet taste of victory.

"After all this is done and we win at Allegany, I'm having a party at my house," Raios said.

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