Knowledge Bowl is a scholastic club and competitive forum that allows students to expand and test their knowledge on a wide range of subjects such as history, geography and literature. At Tumwater High School, this club is comprised of a group of nine students that the advisor, Doug Peltier, describes as “genuinely nice human beings.”
Peltier volunteered to be the advisor for the club when he became a member of the Tumwater High School faculty because he enjoyed participating in Knowledge Bowl in high school himself. While he shares a passion for the trivia the students partake in, he says finding students can be hard. “The biggest challenge is getting people to participate,” he shares. “People often think that they’re not smart enough to be a part of the team, which is simply not true. You can have a specific kind of knowledge that can help your team significantly, depending on the category. And no matter what you know at the beginning, you can always learn more and have fun with other students who are also passionate about learning while doing it.”
This atmosphere of collaborative teamwork takes place every Friday during the school’s club time. The students break off into two teams, in a mock tournament style, and answer questions from previous Knowledge Bowl competitions in order to prepare for their upcoming meets. Vice President Mary Kate Parsons says that she enjoys these practice sessions for several reasons. “It’s fun to see the competitive side of everyone and to get to hang out with my friends while still learning,” she shares. “Knowledge Bowl has also helped push me to try my hardest in every class and to take full advantage of my education.”
Both Mary Kate and Club President Kyler Menge are participants from their middle school experience with Knowledge Bowl. As president of the club, the latter is also the team captain, giving him the responsibility to deliver the team’s answer during rounds of competition. Menge details this as his favorite part of Knowledge Bowl. “Being captain has been a learning experience and grown my level of leadership as I had to decide how best to help my team come to the right answer or to choose an answer quickly if there was no consensus,” shares Menge.
Senior Bryan Le, another dedicated club member, also reflects on how Knowledge Bowl has helped him. “It’s provided me with an outlet to gain a sense of accomplishment based on learning a lot of information on such a large variety of topics,” he shares.
The Tumwater High School Knowledge Bowl Team has qualified for the state meet from the regional meet for the last 10 years, and this time around was no different. After competing in four rounds total, one written and three oral, Tumwater placed 10th out of 18 teams. Their hard work and commitment to education can serve as a reminder to all of us to never stop learning