Dracut Team Excited
DRACUT — The team of nine sat in a second-floor classroom at Justus C. Richardson Middle School last Wednesday. As they ate chips and red and green grapes, their coach Adrienne Wheeler talked strategy.
The Kendall M. Wallace Greater Lowell Regional Knowledge Bowl was just weeks away, and Wheeler wanted to place the sixth, seventh, and eighth graders in different rounds.
“We’ll all be in some kind of a toss-up round,” Wheeler informed them. “Okie dokie?”
Several nodded in agreement.
The Dracut team consists of two sixth graders, three seventh graders, and four eighth graders. Since February, they’ve worked math problems and have been quizzed on current events. The two-day Knowledge Bowl will take place on May 20 and May 21 at Tyngsboro High School, 36 Norris Road, Tyngsboro.
On this Wednesday, the team began their practice with puns.
“The name of what musical instrument is missing in the answer to this riddle?” Wheeler asked. “How do you fix a broken brass instrument? With a _____ glue.”
The room was silent for nearly ten seconds. Then, a buzzer sound.
“Tuba,” answered Ben Holmes, 13.
“Yes,” Wheeler said.
“That’s very punny,” quipped Connor Peterson, 12.
Wheeler agreed. “That is very punny,” she said.
They later moved onto politics. To answer, the students smacked colorful buzzers with unique sounds — a doorbell, a horn, a boxing ring, and a boing.
Connor, a sixth-grader, said he joined this year’s Knowledge Bowl team because he loves trivia. Plus, there are the snacks. He admitted he feels a bit nervous about the upcoming competition — but good overall.
“I just love how I can learn stuff, but also use my own knowledge to teach other people,” Connor said. “It’s just everything. I read a lot of books, so I know a couple pieces of here and there.”
This is the second year of being on the team for seventh-grader Cassidy Chartier. The 13-year-old served as scorekeeper at this practice for the mini teams of three: the Penguins, Unicorns, and Doorbells.
“I like answering all these really cool questions,” Cassidy said.
Science is her favorite subject, especially anything to do with space. Cassidy said she hasn’t done much outside of school to prepare for the Knowledge Bowl, but sometimes she reads fun fact books.
Cassidy predicted they’ll do well.
“This group has been great. They’re hysterical. They get along really well,” said Wheeler, who is also an assistant principal at Richardson Middle. “They’re really just here to have fun, which is really nice for them.”
As their coach, Wheeler said her goal is for the team to have a good time at Knowledge Bowl.
“In practice, they do such a great job. I know they’re ready and prepared,” she added. “I know that, of course, they’re not only excited but it’s a big deal. They’re up on a stage. There’s lights. There’s buzzers. They’re anticipating it, but I think we’re going to do great.”
Courtney Smith, an eighth-grader, has returned to the team this year.
“It’s a good place where I can show people what I know,” she said.
Math, she said, is perhaps the most challenging aspect. It’s her favorite subject.
Courtney said she’s not very nervous about the Knowledge Bowl.
“We did pretty well last year, I guess. I think we’ll be fine,” she said. “We’re all really good together and it’s a strong group of kids, so we should be pretty ready.”
Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.