No gutter balls, knowledge bowl at north

I recently had the pleasure of joining a club at North called Knowledge Bowl, and I think it was a great decision. Not gonna lie, I went to one meeting last year and was very intimidated and didn’t go to any other meetings. That all changed when I got Mr. Kloster, one of the advisors of Knowledge Bowl, as my AP US History teacher and he encouraged us all to try it out. I said, “why not?” My opinion: the competition questions are actually somewhat easier than the practice questions.
Here’s how it works: It involves round-based questions that can consist of math, science, current events, history, english, and elective questions. Knowledge Bowl is divided into teams that consist of four or five people on a team. “Kinda like academic jeopardy with a lot of chatting,” said Kloster.
Fellow Knowledge Bowler and Junior Hume Eide said: “It’s very fun and it ranges from very competitive to ‘we’re not taking it seriously at all’ but it’s fun either way.”
Knowledge Bowl is a lot more exciting than you may think. “It’s like watching any type of sporting event. […] To me, Knowledge Bowl is a sport. There’s excitement – sometimes it comes down to the last question. There’s speed involved in it” said co-advisor David Volk. “Knowledge and strategy, all of those fun things you get to watch.”
The extracurricular activity is led by Social Studies teacher Colin Kloster, and Latin teachers Volk and Kat Strand. Kloster started the Knowledge Bowl program for North around eight years ago, making him the first Knowledge Bowl coach North has ever had. Volk believes he’s been coaching for eight years and for Strand, it’s been five years.
Unfortunately, they wouldn’t give me their favorite Knowledge Bowler. Volk even went on to say, “It’s like picking your favorite child, I can’t pick. I like them all. Asking me to pick my favorite Knowledge Bowler is like asking me to pick my favorite food.”
Both Strand and Kloster had similar responses, but Strand wanted me to write that she has major beef with our very own Eliza Janssen.
Don’t worry about feeling like you’re not smart enough. “You don’t have to be smart. Definitely have some knowledge, anybody can do Knowledge Bowl with the knowledge they have, but be able to hone whatever knowledge you have,” said Knowledge Bowler senior Afton Gast.
Smart is a relative term. “Smart is one of these things where every last kid is smart, but who’s smarter? Nobody, because ultimately we all have certain areas where we know more than others. But how do you measure smartness?” said Volk.
As for the club’s leaders’ favorite thing about knowledge bowl? It’s evident in their answers. “I get to work with some of the most wonderful kids,” said Volk.
“The students, it’s not even a question. I love working with the students. It’s freaky how smart some people are. Absolutely terrifying.” said Kloster.
Junior Susannah Schwantes piped in, “They make the rest of us look bad.”
Even though many may not have heard about Knowledge Bowl, it’s not because it isn’t successful. North’s team has been in the top three at state three times: third place in 2017, first place in 2019, and second place in 2022. And of course they have won EDC four times in 2017, 2019, 2021, and 2022.
Knowledge bowl is a club I enjoy being a part of, and I would encourage other students to join this fun environment too! Other knowledge bowlers agree. Gast said, “You should join! I’ll put you on the docket. I’ll put you on the roster.”
Senior Quinn Opgrand encouraged, “Do it. It’s a good way to meet people and get outside your comfort zone.”
So join Knowledge Bowl today and hopefully you will have a chaotic but fun time!