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FMS shines at Energy Bowl

Farragut Middle School competed in the 2008 Energy Bowl held Tuesday, March 4, through Thursday, March 6, at the American Museum of Science and Energy and brought home first- and second-place trophies and $400 in prize money.

Sixth-grade teams competed Tuesday, March 4, seventh-grade teams competed Wednesday, March 5, and eighth-grade teams competed Thursday, March 5.

FMA science teacher Ron McKelvey coached all three teams.

“[The competition is based on] the students’ ability to answer energy-related questions quickly. It takes a lot of work and a lot of practice,” he said.

The competition questions are a mixture of multiple choice, single direct and hands-on. Each team is allowed four playing members per round and questions are directed at both teams simultaneously.

The teams are placed, with their backs to the audience, in front of a device containing 10 unlit light bulbs and each team member is equipped with his or her own buzzer.

Any member of any team may buzz in with an answer at any time during the question.

If the team member answers the question correctly, the other team must light a bulb. If the answering team is incorrect, however, they must light a bulb. The other team is then given the option to answer the question. If they chose to do so and answer correctly, the opposing team must then light another bulb.

Once either team reaches 10 lit bulbs, they have wasted too much energy and are out of the game.

McKelvey’s advice to his teams before they took the stage was, “If you are not sure do not answer.”

The FMS sixth-grade team won first-place, earning $250. Team members were Colton Paul, Rachel Hunter, Victoria Long, Andy Wintenberg, Kenny Ye, Brian Glintenkamp, Jamie Lim, and Maddie Strnad.

The seventh-grade team won second-place earning $150. Team members were Hannah Feiten, Sam Cafferry, Alex Selwitz, Jae Lee, Anna Fraser, Shelby Williams and Chris Buckman.

The eight-grade team was eliminated in the first round of competition.

McKelvey said the teams start practicing for the competition in October.

“I give a test about energy and the ones that score the highest, I pick about seven or eight kids from each grade level and [the teams] end up being the ones that can answer the questions the fastest.

Seventh-grader Hannah Feiten said practice is tough.

“We have four big packets we have to memorize and we have to practice every other week,” she said.

McKelvey said the prize money will go back into the program so the teams can continue to compete each year.


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