Byron Knowledge Bowl winners pleased as punch to place at top
What is the cubed root of 24?
What is Harry Potter’s owl’s name?
Who wrote the book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz”?
These questions and others are among those the smart, talented Byron Middle School students answered as part of the 2022-2023 Junior High Knowledge Bowl. The Regional Competitions were held on January 20 at the event’s sponsor, the Southeast Service Cooperative in Rochester.
Two Byron Middle School Knowledge Bowl teams, out of four Byron teams competing, placed in the competition. Byron 1 took second place in Tier AA, and Byron 4 took third place. The first-place prize in the division was taken home by Northfield Middle School.
“It was fun to see them get so excited and learn so much this year,” said Byron’s Knowledge Bowl coach Janelle Groehler. “They worked together as a team and to really become cohesive and worked together to answer the questions really well.”
Groehler, who is also the middle and high school instructional coach for Byron Public Schools, said she had 21 students participate in Knowledge Bowl this year.
The Junior High Knowledge Bowl consists of two parts, she said, with the first part being a 60-question, multiple choice, written test students complete in 50 minutes. The second part is composed of questions posed in a “Jeopardy” style face-off, complete with buzzers. There are three rounds of that, with each round encompassing 35 to 45 questions, Groehler said.
This year was only the second year her students have done Knowledge Bowl. Though long-ago Byron participated in Knowledge Bowl, the school hasn’t for the last 10 to 15 years.
“I needed an outlet for students who were gifted,” Groehler said of her Knowledge Bowl participants. “For students who knew a lot of different things. I knew other schools were doing it, like Kasson, Chatfield and Lanesboro. I decided to try it.”
As for her students’ taking second and third place, she said she was both excited and proud.
“I actually had other coaches come up to me and say how well they worked together as a team,” Groehler said. “That’s really important in Knowledge Bowl, and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
“It’s a great group of kids,” she said. “They’re kids who don’t always receive recognition. It was a great thing for them to get recognized because they’re such a good group of kids. It was a lot of fun. Most people would say trivia is not super fun but for them, they had a blast.”
Seventh grader Bennet Reitz, 13, was on team Byron 4, and reported being pleased with their finish. “I was pretty happy about it,” he said. “I had a team of seventh and sixth graders against eighth graders, so I wasn’t expecting us to do as well as we did but I was definitely proud of us.”
Reitz said it was fun both competing, and hanging out with newfound friends.
“I think it’s fun answering questions and I also learn a lot from the competitions because it’s a lot of random little facts,” said participant Isis Luhmann.
Cece Meek and Claudia Zacher agreed, with Meek saying “We were all really excited. We had been spending a lot of time preparing in practices so it was exciting for the work to pay off.”
Zacher said her team has grown throughout the Knowledge Bowl season. “It’s fun competing and trying to figure out all of the answers,” she said.