1 April 2013

CEESA MS Knowledge Bowl in St. Petersburg

Knowledge Bowl affords an incredible opportunity to students to show their knowledge and to experience another culture. The competition in St. Petersburg, Russia was the 4th such competition that NOVA middle school has taken part in and it was an unforgettable experience for us all. A total of six students divided in two teams and chaperoned by two teaches participated. Besides NOVA, another seven schools from St Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev, Vilnius, Krakow, Estonia and Bucharest were a part of the competition. On Thursday evening, we were picked up from the airport and bused to the school, where host families were waiting for the students. As a rule, students stay with local families and, in this way, are further exposed to the local culture and are encourage to become more independent. On Friday morning, students were given individual and group written assessments, the results of which are used to determine the initial seeding for the head-to-head rounds. While these were being scored, different groups were bused to previously selected locations for the cultural tours. NOVA chose to go to the Hermitage museum, where we saw famous works from Titian, Rembrandt, Da Vinci, Canova, etc. After the cultural tours were completed, the real work began. The first leg of the competition began with individual written rounds for all participants, followed by group written rounds. Later into the day the second leg commenced with head-to-head rounds, which function similar to a quiz show where teams buzz in their answers. The total points of the day determin the ranking of teams for for 2nd day of competitions. Day two began with head-to-head rounds for total points, which determined the overall ranking of the competition. We at NOVA are very proud to report that our students took 2nd and 5th place out of 16 different teams and most importantly were also awarded Sportsmanship. The trophy for 2nd place is in recognition of our ability, while the trophy for Sportsmanship is in recognition of our spirit of fair play, friendliness and overall attitude and, perhaps most importantly, it is awarded by our competitors. Students vote for students. It is truly wonderful to realize that those who are playing against you for a prize will still vote for you as an individual, a team and a school. The trip was incredible. There is so much to see and do and it would take a lifetime to truly experience St Petersburg. We stood at the graveside of Dostoevsky himself. We visited the summer palace of Catherine the Great in the village of Pushkin. We visited one of the world’s most famous museums. We stood on the bridges of the ‘Venice of the North’ and breathed the freezing air. The experience, from beginning to end, is one that none of us will ever forget.