How smart are they? Smart enough to answer tough questions ranging from quantum physics to pop culture and anything in between. Who are they? They are winning teams of students who competed in the annual Metropolitan Community College-Maple Woods Scholar Bowl on Tuesday, March 7.
19 Kansas City metro area high schools squared off in what’s become a yearly tradition since 1985. The 33rd anniversary bowl was a “rousing success,” says Douglas Fishel, MCC-Maple Woods philosophy instructor and one of the event organizers.
Fishel describes the bowl as a “tune-up” for the teams, before they start regional and state competitions. Teams are made up of mostly high school juniors and seniors, with the average age between 16 and 17.
Top honors this year went to Park Hill High School, The other teams placing were Savannah High School in second, North Kansas City High School in third and Smithville High School in fourth.
Park Hill’s bowl coach, Troy Snelling, has brought his teams to the Scholar Bowl 21 times. This was Snelling’s first win.
About the quiz masters. Every team has a coach and a sponsor. Fishel and Diane Boldt, MCC-Maple Woods history instructor, are the judges, but it also takes 15 or so scorers to grade the tests and get the scores posted.
The campus hosted around 200 guests, including student participants and alternates, coaches, and family and guests of the participants.
Fishel says, “From those who helped write questions, to those who helped score answer sheets, to those who helped with the technical requirements and logistics, it was just a wonderful day!”
The brain behind the event was John Stockmeyer, MCC-Maple Woods history instructor. Stockmeyer, who taught for four decades at MCC, died in 2014. He is remembered not only for spearheading the Scholar Bowl, but also initiating the annual Brain Drain trivia contest, which happens every December.
Scholar Bowl action has occurred uninterrupted except for in 2014, when it had to be called for weather.
Here is the complete list of high schools with participating teams this year:
- Benton High School, St. Joseph, Mo.
- Cameron High School, Cameron, Mo.
- Excelsior Springs High School, Excelsior Springs, Mo.
- Fort Osage High School, Independence, Mo.
- Kearney High School, Kearney, Mo.
- Lafayette High School, St. Joseph, Mo.
- Lawson High School, Lawson, Mo.
- Liberty High School, Liberty, Mo.
- Liberty North High School, Liberty, Mo.
- North Kansas City High School, Kansas City, Mo.
- Park Hill High School, Kansas City, Mo.
- Platte Co. R-III High School, Platte City, Mo.
- Savannah High School, Savannah, Mo.
- Smithville High School, Smithville, Mo.
- Pius X High School, Kansas City, Mo.
- Truman High School, Independence, Mo.
- Van Horn High School, Independence, Mo.
- William Chrisman High School, Independence, Mo.
- Winnetonka High School, Kansas City, Mo.
The 2016 winners were Liberty North High School in first place, followed by North Kansas City High School, Park Hill South High School and St. Pius X High School.
Preparation for the 34th Scholar Bowl will begin soon, The next challenge is set for March 6, 2018.