Academic Team Advances to State Competition

Academic Team Advances to State Competition
Posted on 04/17/2018
Academic Team Advances to State Competition

Now in its 26th year, the Pennsylvania State Academic Competition provides an opportunity for students to compete in a "college-bowl" format, answering a variety of challenging questions from several categories including literature, math, science, American and world history, geography, fine arts, and current events.

The competition will be held at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building in Harrisburg on April 27. For the third year in a row, after a successful season, Wyomissing Area Junior Senior High School will be representing Berks County as the county champions.

Wyomissing Area JSHS's 16-member Academic Challenge Team of juniors and seniors meets weekly from October to April to practice. The members with the highest scores in November form the traveling team. 

Each competition consists of four or five rounds of questions. Most of the rounds are oral, but a few rounds are written. Two different formats are used. One format consists of five rounds (four rounds of oral toss-up questions and the fifth round of written questions). The other format consists of four oral rounds of toss-up/bonus questions. A buzzer system is used to determine which team answers first.

According to co-advisor and Advanced Placement literature and research teacher Ms. Joelle Ostrich, this year’s team is very enthusiastic. “As the team became more successful, the students have shown more interest. Everyone is anxious to compete in Harrisburg,” she says.

Co-captains and seniors, Sam Botterbusch and Matthew Driben, are second-year team members.

“With four returning seniors, we have a cohesive group,” Matthew says. “We all like the appeal of trivia and celebrating academics.”

Sam adds, “There is a rush when your team is the first to hit the buzzer AND you get the answer correct.” 

The Wyomissing Area School District wishes the team all the best in their quest for the state championship.