Science Quiz Bowl team competes virtually

Juliette Amram, Staff Writer

The Science Quiz Bowl Team held weekly practices in preparation for their first virtual competition on January 30.

In a typical year, their practices would have been conducted in person. However, this pandemic has forced the formatting of both their meetings and competitions to change. Over Zoom, students must answer questions differently than they would in the classroom setting. 

“Normally, for a toss-up question, the moderators would read the question and the teams raced to buzz in. [It is] one team versus another in the same room. They earn the ability to answer the bonus question which is actually more points,” said the team’s coach Justin King.

Even the social aspect of the club has diminished. 

“[Before the pandemic], eating pizza and doing some trivia [was] a nice way to relax after a long day of school,” said senior Chapin Z., via direct message.

The irregular schedules that students have this year also pose a problem for the club. 

“A lot of our students are involved in a lot of different clubs and organizations […] Finding a particular afternoon where we can get the whole team or both of our teams together to practice as a group can be [kind of] difficult,” said King.

The transition to a virtual platform has also resulted in feelings of frustration within the team. 

“When you spend time physically with other people, you get to know each other. It’s a lot harder to do that when we’re just meeting through a computer screen like this[…] We don’t have that time spent, before a meeting, after a meeting, just hanging out, chatting with each other, getting to know each other on a more personal level,” said King.

According to freshman Anant S., it is much harder for him to get to know his teammates when they are not all together. Yet, practicing remotely also has some advantages.

“This year, our meetings are not just limited to the hour or two right after school when meetings for school teams and clubs and organizations [used to be],” said King.  

The Science Bowl Team now finds flexibility in their meeting times. 

 “In some ways, it is easier […] Everyone can attend from home. I am just glad the club is able to run, where others might not be,” said Anant S.

 Opposed to competing against another team in the same room, each team answered the same questions separately. 

“On the one hand, it gave our students the ability to really emphasize their science knowledge and less so on their competitiveness […] But on the other hand, we’re losing that really fun competitive aspect of the competition[…] This year, it’s almost as if each team is taking a science test together. It’s timed, and it’s very difficult, but it’s not a head-to-head competition,” said King.

The feelings of competitiveness and teamwork is what many students are looking forward to experiencing again when meetings can resume in-person. 

“If we get to a point where people are vaccinated and we can exist in the same room as other people, I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t go back to our normal competition style. If it is not in twenty twenty-two, then in twenty twenty-three,” said King.🔳