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Raising their arms in victory, members of the Discovery Scholar’s Bowl Team are Mark Allison, front from left, Owen Bryuns, Patrick Bruce and Coach David Sippel, back from left, Ben Landingham, Steven Pan and Karsten Wallace. CONTRIBUTED

State championship proves easy victory for Discovery Scholar’s Bowl Team

MADISON – Their win wasn’t even close.

Keen minds on the Scholar’s Bowl Team from Discovery Middle School handily won the state championship by going undefeated and beating every team by 200 or more points.

The contest, held virtually on April 17, has a lengthy title — Alabama Scholastic Competition Association’s Middle School State Championship Tournament.

“Teams played online in Zoom and used an online tool, buzzin.live, to signal or ‘buzz in’ when they knew the answer to a question,” Coach David Sippel said. At Discovery, Sippel teaches seventh-grade “Life Science” and “Medical Detectives.”

Team members are Patrick Bruce, co-captain Ben Landingham and Steven Pan in eighth grade and Mark Allison, Owen Bryuns and co-captain Karsten Wallace in seventh grade.

For tournaments, National Academic Quiz Tournaments LLC writes the questions and governs competitions. “Moderators read the questions and make any required rule interpretations,” Sippel said. “Scorekeepers keep track of the tally.” This year’s corporate sponsors were AAIA GHS, Jacobs and ERC.

In individual honors, Pan compiled the second highest total of points during the tournament.

Teams in the state tournament qualified by finishing in first or second place in district competitions. Scholar’s Bowl, a team academic competition, involves teams of four players and up to two substitutes who respond to questions from a moderator.

“The first player to ‘buzz in’ and correctly answer the question gets 10 points,” Sippel said. That team then can attempt to answer three additional, collaborative bonus questions. Each round consists of two 10-point halves.

“Discovery beat all its opponents in the preliminary Round Robin competition where they played five teams in their pool. Pool winners and top-achieving, wildcard teams then enter the eight-team Sudden Death bracket round,” Sippel said.

“Discovery won all games through the semi-finals. In the finals, teams must win two of three rounds to win the championship. Discovery beat their opponent, West Point Middle School, in two straight rounds in the finals,” Sippel said.

By participating in Scholar’s Bowl, students learn to work together as part of a team. “Bonus questions allow them to collaborate and develop consensus-making skills,” Sippel said. Diverse topics provide a wide range of knowledge for these talented students. “As a coach, I get the opportunity to spend time with great kids and have the thrill of watching them develop and achieve.”

Madison Board of Education recognized the Discovery team at its April 29 meeting.

For more information, visit dmscholars.weebly.com.

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