Twenty-two intrepid Lower and Middle Schoolers began a journey into the past, or, more specifically, a trek to the Boston Regional Finals of the National History Bee. The long drive up to Reading, MA featured nine students in the minibus, the rest riding with parents. In many cases, entire families made the trip. It was worthwhile. Every qualifier (from the January online competition) spent three intense rounds in a quiz bowl-style format, buzzers clutched, thumbs twitching, as each vied to answer as many questions as possible out of 25 or 30 read by the moderator in each round. Each round featured ten kids from schools throughout the New England Region. Subjects ranged from Hammurabi to William Henry Harrison, from the Battle of Hastings to the Tet Offensive. Win or lose, everyone had fun. Several used the "off period" to take a geography exam.
Seven hours later, awards were announced. Middle Schoolers Conner Olsen, Ella Harris, and Seoyon Kim qualified for the Nationals to be held in Chicago in June. Conner and Seoyon also qualified for the Geography event to be held at the same venue, as did Amol Rathore. Daniel Rogers missed qualifying by one question but performed nobly throughout.
The Lower School results were quite dramatic. Ethan Stites and Sabi Gonzalez qualified for Nationals, and if that wasn't exciting enough, the event's ten top scorers were asked to participate in a final round for medals. Five of those top ten were Wheeler kids: Austin Nolan-Bidwell (who'd finished 2nd last year) David Schneider, Billie Kennedy, Maizie Rampino, and Luis Dal Bo. When the dust settled, Austin had won the event by being the first finalist to reach 6 correct answers. The rest of the Wheeler contingent is listed below. What a brain trust!
Charlie Dal Bo