Quiz Bowl Team ready for a challenge

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Photo courtesy/Jessica Bowen
AMSA instructor Jessica Bowen sits on a Zoom call with the AMSA Quiz Bowl team. (left to right, top to bottom) Ashwin Kulkarni, Kavika Krishnan, Max Masleyev, Maya Kandeshwarath, Andrew Temmallo, Sasmeta Giriraj.

By Cindy Zomar, Education Coordinator

MARLBOROUGH – Jessica Bowen teaches a variety of government and economics courses at Marlborough’s Advanced Math and Science Academy Charter School (AMSA). She also, though, has found another way to expand opportunities for the students to challenge themselves mentally.  

She has been the advisor for the school’s Quiz Bowl team since its inception. 

“I am impressed with the students’ commitment, as we meet twice a week and have tournaments on many Saturdays in preparation for the big, televised Quiz Bowl show,” she recently told the Community Advocate. 

She compared the experience to coaching a basketball team that practices frequently and then has a televised H-O-R-S-E tournament on weekends.  

Students gear up for TV competition

The High School Quiz Show is produced by Boston PBS entity GBH and provides a platform for high school teams to compete against each other for top honors in an academic forum. 

Morning radio personality Billy Costa has returned as the host for Season 12 of the show, asking questions that cover a wide range of topics and subject matters. Those include current events and general knowledge, as well as topics that align with the Massachusetts high school curriculum frameworks. 

The show format is a series of single-elimination rounds. Brackets can be found at https://tinyurl.com/pt8vyr7f.  

This year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the games are played and taped remotely instead of in a studio. AMSA will compete against Westford in its virtual match that airs on Saturday, May 15. 

“All the schools get the exact same questions, and the same number of questions, to keep it fair,” Bowen added. 

Her team consists of two juniors and two seniors, and she also picks two alternates. The students are as follows: Ashwin Kulkarni, Kavika Krishnan, Max Masleyev, Maya Kandeshwarath, Andrew Temmallo and Sasmeta Giriraj. 

AMSA eyes possibility to advance

The matches can be viewed on highschoolquizshow.org

If AMSA wins its match against Westford, it will move forward to the quarterfinals, which will air on Saturday, June 5. In that case, AMSA would face the winner of the Needham vs. Newton North match from May 15. 

AMSA itself is a public school serving students in grades six through twelve. Admission is on a space-available basis, with a lottery held in late fall for the following year’s classes. 

The majority of the student body comes from the core towns of Clinton, Hudson, Marlborough and Maynard, but the student body ultimately pulls from up to thirty communities in any given year. 

AMSA was recently named the #3 public high school in Massachusetts for 2021 by U.S. News & World Report, out of 365 high schools across the Commonwealth.