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BHS Academic Challenge Team: A Force to be Reckoned With

Photo courtesy of Channel 22.

Photo courtesy of Channel 22.

Last year's team appeared on Academic Challenge and won the national championship.

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The BHS academic challenge team has been working hard this semester preparing for tournaments. Advised by math teacher John Kaminski, the club’s members test their quick-thinking skills through problem-solving and trivia.
During their last tournament at Olmsted Falls, the junior varsity team placed second. They’ve already been to seven tournaments this school year, starting in Oct., placing at least fourth in each tournament. Their next tournament will take place in Solon, Feb. 16-17.
Academic challenge originally started as a TV show, beginning in the 1960s. Opposing teams compete for points by answering trivia questions.

Beachwood’s academic challenge club has been around since the 1990s.

“[The club’s purpose is] to compete in a variety of different competitions, which are tests of quick recall of general knowledge,” said Kaminski. “The topics we cover are history, literature, music, science, some mathematics, current events, politics…The level that we are competing at…goes beyond the typical high school curriculum.”

Walking into Kaminski’s room on Wed. afternoons for academic challenge meetings, one may find the club members eagerly asking and answering various questions, many of which will not be found in your usual high school textbook.

One may also feel the vibrant, cheerful attitude that all the club members seem to share.

“I love the atmosphere. We’re all like family here. And the competitions, they are not like you’re fighting against your mortal enemy, they’re friendly competitions”, said senior captain Lizzie Bream.

The team has added some new family members this year. Although they might be new faces, they’re just as enthusiastic about the club as the veteran members.

“I really love watching academic challenge….I love watching Jeopardy at home, and I want to broaden my academic horizons,” said freshman Zoe Simon.

When asked what she liked most about the club, freshman Jodi Shapiro responded, “The people. [I like] the actual academic challenge tournaments, but it’s mostly the people.”

“There is an element of critical thinking…It does require good listening skills and the ability to think on your feet,” said Kaminski.

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BHS Academic Challenge Team: A Force to be Reckoned With