Hungry for a Wynn

May 18, 2019

TEWKSBURY —Students in the Wynn Middle School’s Knowledge Bowl club love learning new things and they love putting that knowledge to the test.

In a few weeks, they will get to do just that on a bigger stage.

Of the 14 students in the club, 10 will compete in this year’s Kendall Wallace Regional Knowledge Bowl. During the Knowledge Bowl, teams from communities like Tewksbury, Billerica, Lowell and Tyngsboro compete in rounds where students answer questions on everything from math and U.S. history, to current events.

“They’re a bunch of really smart kids and they all get along really well, they work together as a team,” said teacher Timothy Olevsky.

This is Olevsky’s first year leading the Knowledge Bowl team. When the previous teacher was unable to lead the team this year, Olevsky, who has an affinity for trivia, stepped up.

“I was a nerd as a kid so I wanted to help our nerds show off,” Olevsky said.

Like Olevsky, most of the students are participating in Knowledge Bowl for the first time this year.

Many students, like seventh-grader Kimsan Nguyen, 12, signed up after learning about it from friends.

“I like how it’s something where we can have fun and learn interesting stuff,” Nguyen said.

Others signed up eager to utilize what they already knew.

“I have random knowledge in my brain and I figured I can use that,” eighth-grader David Penney, 14, boasted with a grin.

The snacks, according to some, are another plus. The students take turns bringing in food to share. At a recent practice, M&M cookies were on the menu.

“It’s good,” seventh-grader Mason Haines, 13, said of Knowledge Bowl. “Hanging out with friends and answering the questions and the food.”

Haines’ friends nodded in agreement. “The fooood,” echoed one.

The snacks may be tasty, but it is clear that the real satisfaction comes from answering the questions. As they took turns talking with the Sun during a recent practice, many of the students leaned to listen as Olevsky called out the questions, anxious to answer them.

The students are competitive but the team’s camaraderie is strong.

The practice ended with applause after eighth-grader Harshit Pal, 14, correctly answered the last question.

Follow Emma R. Murphy on Twitter @MurphReports.

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