Dracut’s Richardson Middle School Students Enjoy the Challenge
Third in a six-part series profiling middle school teams in the 2018 Kendall M. Wallace Greater Lowell Regional Knowledge Bowl, taking place June 19-20 at the Chelmsford High School Performing Arts Center.
DRACUT -- On a Wednesday in late May, eight Justus C. Richardson Middle School students sat together at a long rectangle table and looked up at their assistant principal.
“OK,” Adrienne Wheeler told the small group. “Automobile hydroplaning greatly reduces what force between tires and pavement?”
Dylan Hubbard slapped the table as if to hit a real buzzer. Wheeler pointed at him to answer.
“Friction,” Dylan said.
“Yes, sir,” Wheeler said. “Very good.”
The question was one of several in a warm-up for the team, who later this month will compete in the 2018 Kendall M. Wallace Greater Lowell Regional Knowledge Bowl Tournament. The competition will be held on Tuesday, June 19 and Wednesday, June 20 at Chelmsford High School’s Performing Arts Center. Last year, Chelmsford’s Knowledge Bowl team snagged the top trophy. That team comprised of students from Colonel Moses Parker and C. Edith McCarthy Middle Schools answered their way up to 290 points.
In Dracut, the Richardson Middle team of nine began practicing in April, according to Wheeler, their coach. Their weekly practices mock what it’s going to be like at the real Knowledge Bowl, complete with math rounds. Wheeler said most of the team members (sixth and seventh-graders) are first-timers to the competition. Only two of the members have prior experience with Knowledge Bowl.
“I want them to have fun. I want them to get used to it. I think it’s something very different,” Wheeler said of her hope for the team. “I know some of the other schools have kind of been working on this all year... I want them to get exposed to it. I want them to have a good time.”
Kiley Green, a sixth-grader, said she joined the Knowledge Bowl team because it sounded fun and she likes trivia.
Abigail Ogwang, a seventh-grader, was inspired by her older sister’s past participation in Knowledge Bowl to join this year’s team at Richardson Middle School.
“It’s been fun,” she said of the preparation so far. “Challenging sometimes, but still fun.”
Asked how she thinks her team will do at Knowledge Bowl, Abigail said “well.”
After practice, Dylan -- one of the most enthusiastic team members -- shared that this was his first time participating in Knowledge Bowl. He attended the competition last year just to watch.
″‘This is something that I would be interested in doing -- academics and all the different core subjects is really interesting to me,’” the 13-year-old recalled thinking. “It’s really fun getting to interact with other students, what they see solutions to the problem are, what they think.”
Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.