All About It’s Academic

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Seniors Austin Pardue, Jordan Katz and Tim Baker on the It’s Academic TV Show.

By Nicolette Brookman

On Saturday, January 10th, Hammond’s It’s Academic team hosted the 16th Annual Green Eggs and Hammond Academic Tournament. Hammond invited 40 other teams from all over the D.C. Metro Area to participate in a nine-round trivia bowl.

Of the 40 teams Hammond contacted, 36 came to Hammond in order to compete.  Centennial High School’s Team A placed first of thirty six, followed by Quince Orchard High School’s Team B and Bullis Preparatory School’s Team A. Centennial’s Team C placed fourth.

Every team participated in five 53-question preliminary rounds, and then there were four single-elimination rounds to determine the victor. The first round of the play-offs consisted of ten questions on the same topic. This was a lightning round, and each question was worth ten points. The second round had ten unrelated questions, also worth ten points each. The third round consisted of ten ten-point questions from two different topics, and the fourth and final round had 15 unrelated questions worth 20 points each.

The event was held in 18 different rooms at Hammond, each with two teams, a reader, and a scorekeeper. Volunteers from Hammond’s chapter of the National Honor Society and  Hammond teachers assisted the members of It’s Academic by reading questions and keeping score during the preliminary rounds and the first round of the play-offs.

The long list of teachers that assisted with the tournament includes Ms. Manchester, Ms. Korn, Ms. Stocklin, Ms. Lerer, Ms. Livas, Ms. Goffredi, and Ms. Freel.

“It was great to see so many people from the Hammond community come out to volunteer and support us,” said sophomore Kevin Baker.

Over 500 questions were used in the tournament, and they were all written by members of It’s Academic. Popular topics included were literature, science, music, art, current events, pop culture, history, and much more. n

Baker, who wrote over 100 questions and read for all nine rounds of the tournament, learned a lot from the process of making Hammond’s tournament unique. “This was a trial year for us because it was our first year writing our own questions. We learned what questions work and what questions don’t. To succeed in a Quiz Bowl, teams need questions that are relevant and important to their lives.”

Junior Michael Baker has been a member of the It’s Academic team for two years. As well as being, “an entertaining way to expand his knowledge,” Baker says the team is “a good way to meet other people who are interested in learning.”

It’s Academic has meetings on Thursdays, and anyone can attend. Sophomore Tristan Henkel would encourage other people to join because, “It’s really fun to compete, you can can meet new people, and you can learn a lot.” It’s Academic is not just a fun meeting for Henkel. “It’s Academic has definitely helped me at school because I learn things about books, science, music, and other things that we talk about in class.”

Jordan Katz is the senior member of the team. He joined the team his freshman year, and has gone on TV as a part of WJZ’s It’s Academic. “It’s Academic is fun for me because it has a very relaxed atmosphere,” he said when asked about reasons for joining the club. “We don’t take ourselves too seriously, but we all still really care. It’s also an after school thing that isn’t a huge time commitment. We meet for about two hours every week, plus tournaments on a couple of Saturdays.”

The It’s Academic team was able to raise over $2,000 from the registry fee and concessions. They plan to use the money to pay for equipment such as buzzers that they may need in the future, permits for locations to host competitions, and any other needs that may arise.

Now that Green Eggs and Hammond is over, the It’s Academic team is planning a teachers’ tournament to occur in about a month. There was one last year, and it was such a success that they are planning another.


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