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Questions Fly in Fast-Paced Scholar Quiz

Jun 04, 2018 04:33PM ● By Jeanne Fratello

Scholar Quiz finalists include the winning team (from left, with certificates) of Charlotte Estrin, Will Janson, Ben Hant, and Jax Stutz. The runner-up team included (continuing from left) Caroline Kiely, Hannah Gedion, Catherine Bui, and Cara Susilo

Are you smarter than a middle schooler? You might have had your doubts after watching Manhattan Beach MIddle School students ace question after question in the fast-paced final round of the MBMS Scholar Quiz.

The scholar quiz, a time-honored tradition now in its 14th year, brought together two teams of four for the final round on Monday. After more than 30 tension-filled minutes of rapid-fire questions and answers, the "red" team of eighth graders Jax Stutz, Will Janson, Ben Hant, and Charlotte Estrin emerged with a 235-185 victory. 

They narrowly edged out the "blue" team of eighth graders Caroline Kiely, Hannah Gedion, Catherine Bui, and Cara Susilo.

The teams tackled questions involving math, science, astronomy, economics, history, spelling, pop culture, and more, with a humorous touch. One word problem required tallying up an order at Yogurtland; another was a logic problem to determine the number of a person's Instagram followers. 

The questions went by so fast that in many cases the full question never even got read. When the reader had barely said the words, "If you score a hat trick - " the flags flew up in the air and the red team had the answer, "Three," before any other words were spoken. 

Stutz, the captain of the winning team, said that the foursome had worked together as a Scholar Quiz team since 6th grade, and that the team meshed well and knew each other's strengths. "I think the team dynamic is really good," she said.

"Also, we're all friends," added Hant.

Following the final round, all eight students high-fived and embraced each other, and MBMS Principal Kim Linz congratulated them for their camaraderie. 

"You're all excellent representatives of our school, and you all represent the type of sportsmanship we like to see," said Linz. 

The scholar quiz began last month with 152 teams and 608 students. More than 200 parent, staff, and community volunteers contributed to the effort.

The contest is underwritten by the MBMS PTA, with t-shirts donated from Study Hut.

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