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Gogebic Community College hosts annual spring high school Quiz Bowl


March 15, 2019

Bryan Hellios/Daily Globe

DON PELKOLA, center, asks trivia questions to Houghton and Wakefield students during the Spring High School Quiz Bowl held at Gogebic Community College on Thursday.


Ironwood - The Gogebic Community College hosted the annual Spring High School Quiz Bowl on Thursday on the Ironwood campus.

Retired math teacher and coordinator for the event Carl Vaara said roughly 150 high school students from schools all over the Gogebic Range and northern Wisconsin came to compete in this year's tournament.

"We have a total of 49 games that will be played today," he said.

Vaara said he created the event about 20 years ago so kids could see the college.

Although he started the tournament he credits the GCC staff, community volunteers, teachers, Phi Theta Kappa students for making the event possible.

"It could not run without their help," he said.

High school history teacher at Ironwood and Quiz Bowl coach Ted Sim said the event gives kids a chance to put their academic knowledge to the test and gives them an outlet for their competitiveness.

He said some students who join the team might not be viewed as the most academic. But because they retain information really well, they end up doing very good, he added.

"Students can compete here and we have the big competition in Marquette on television," he said, "There are even competitions beyond that."

Tenth grader Tanner Walrath from Hancock said, the competitive aspect of the tournament is what led him to join the team. He said when he is not playing hockey, he sometimes plays trivia games on his cellphone and likes to study history.

"I like to learn about things from the past," he said.

Walrath is on Hancock's No. 2 team this year, but said he plans on staying on the team through high school because it gives him the opportunity to use some of the things he has learned.

He said a topic he likes the most and is more favorite trivia categories is about sports.

"This is more of a just for fun tournament where we get to play all these teams," Walrath said.

The competition consisted of three rounds in the morning. Students then ate pizza, which was provided by the college, before the championship games held in the early afternoon.

The Houghton I team beat Ironwood II by a score of 400 to 295 in the varsity final. In the Little 8 Division, Houghton II team defeated Bessemer III by a score of 335 to 255.


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