ISB Hosts the Middle School Knowledge Bowl

Nikola Tesla Demonstrates His Tesla Coil

We had some fun yesterday at the Middle School CEESA Knowledge Bowl that ISB is hosting this weekend. We wanted to give the opening ceremony a little “pizaz” so we “resurrected” the great Serbian scientist, Nikola Tesla. A student from the Thespian Society did an amazing performance of Tesla. Instead of lighting the olympic flame in the opening ceremony, he lit the bulb from the Tesla Coil. To make the event more dramatic, we played 2001: A Space Odyssey in the background. The teachers and kids loved it.

I am the tourney director and really enjoying being involved in all the action today. The knowledge bowl is one of the events that the bigger schools in CEESA participate in, so it is nice to see some of the schools we usually do not compete against like Vienna. Hosting a knowledge bowl requires a lot of help and I would like to thank the many volunteers from the faculty, staff, and community that made the event successful.

The Knowledge Bowl is great for schools to have as it celebrates and puts in the forefront, knowledge and academics. The weak point in our form of knowledge bowl is that there are no problem solving or creative hands-on activities. It does mostly rely on information retrieval, which is some ways is very important. Overall, I really feel knowledge is important for schools and should be a part of every school!

The Teachers versus Students Game Generated Much Enthusiasm in the student body

Update: As a follow-up to this blog post, I summarized the comments from the evaluation forms to help us with future knowledge bowl competitions that we host.


  • Great having gym nearby for recreation and interaction.
  • Broken arm dealt with well
  • Great work with competition and socialization of participants. Excellent organization and positive tone – wonderful tournament!!
  • Great tournament!!!
  • Coaches Meeting – Efficient and clear, awesome use of time
  • Loved Tesla! Fabulous tournament
  • Great job! Best CEESA I’ve been to


  • Some misread questions/accents made it difficult
  • Saturday morning algebra speed round tough for 6th and 7th grade students (algebra as a speed round???)
  • Some math questions not appropriately timed


  • Have fewer math questions, more 60 second math questions
  • Suggest only native English speakers reading questions (suggested twice)

My suggestions

1)      Have a creative thinking / problem solving / hands-on / teamwork round added to the competition, similar to Odyssey of the Mind

2)      Eliminate speed round and go with all toss-up questions


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