Jones students excel in Quiz Bowl

First Posted: 3/7/2009

Thirteen fifth graders from J.J. Jones Intermediate School proved that great things come from small places during the North Carolina Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl Feb. 19.
The students, who are in Kathy Ratcliffes class, took part in the national quiz bowl for fifth and sixth graders in 48 states. The tests are computer-based with 100 multiple-choice questions. Students have up to one minute to answer each question as a team, but they are penalized for time. Questions can relate to math, geography, sports, spelling, science, literature, history, music or fun trivia.
Everybody played their part in the test and worked well together. We couldnt have done it without everybody, said Molly Hartness.
It was a lot about teamwork. We have to trust whoever says they know the right answer. Different people are good at different things, said Keara Halpern.
The team worked well enough to place eighth in the state and 15th in the nation, answering 85 percent of the questions correctly. They were competing against schools from areas such as Charlotte, Concord and Davidson County within the state. The first-place school was from Charlotte and answered 94 percent of the questions correctly.
Even though were a small community, it doesnt have to do with anything. If we put our minds to it, we can do anything, said Matthew Eads.
It makes us proud to be eighth out of a bunch of other school systems. Even though were small, we can be just as good, added Hartness.
Were pretty proud of ourselves. We have bright students than can compete, said Ratcliffe.
The students had to rely on teamwork in order to come up with the right answers in the shortest amount of time. Each student had a category in which they excelled.
It was really fun, because it tested our knowledge in certain subjects. Im good with history questions, said Chelsy Baker.
Even when the students did not know the answer to a question, they were able to learn something new. They also learned to trust each other with the answers in order to answer in the shortest amount of time. If someone said they were 100 percent sure of an answer, there was no discussion. However, some of the questions sparked debate and students had to defend their response to their peers.
It was pretty cool, because we had questions we didnt know so we learned something, said Rachel Evans. I know a lot about the human body, but I didnt think I would get to use my special power in that.
It let us learn more about all sorts of things, said Randy Simmons.
The students also liked that the competition was administered on the computer because it will prepare them for computerized tests later in life.
I think its better that it was on the computer, because later well have SATs and EOGs on the computer, said Taylor Bouma. It helps get us ready for that.
The students also feel that participating in experiences such as the Quiz Bowl has helped them to be more open to trying new things.
This school has a lot of things you can do, said Maddison Widener. It was a challenge at times, but it was fun.
Contact Morgan Wall at [email protected] or 719-1929.

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