Intro and Meet the Contestants
CANDACE: Hello and welcome to the first annual Dino Ridge Science Quiz Bowl. I’m your host Candace Joice from Dinosaur Ridge.
ALEX: And I’m Alex Becker from Colorado Public Television.
CANDACE: Today we are coming to you from Lakewood High School, only a few miles away Dinosaur Ridge, the site where the first stegosaurus, allosaurus, and apatosaurus were discovered. But more on all that in a minute.
ALEX: Today you are going to get to witness the highs and lows, victories and defeats of high school competitors as they make their way through tournament day.
CANDACE: What’s most impressive to me, Alex, is just how many teams are coming from all over the state.
ALEX: That’s right. I have a list here in front of me:
Roosevelt High School in Johnstown; Boulder High School; Colorado Early Colleges in Aurora; Palmer Ridge High School in Monument; Weld Central High School in Keenesburg, The Vanguard High School, Liberty High School, and Cheyenne Mountain High School, all in the Colorado Springs area; Horizon High School and Skyview High School in Thornton, Kiowa High School, Legend High School’s EDGE Program in Parker, Dakota Ridge High School in Littleton, Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch, and of course, the hosting school, Lakewood High School. Whew.
CANDACE: Yes and each team has at least four players. Some of these schools are even fielding multiple teams.
ALEX: That’s a lot of impressive high schoolers. And they aren’t just covering dinosaurs today.
CANDACE: Correct. About half the questions will be about geology and paleontology, but the other half will be drawn from all the sciences and range from topics like botany to physics. The idea is that you need a little bit of expertise in all of these areas to really know dinosaurs.
ALEX: So break it down for us. How does this tournament day work?
CANDACE: The first round is a written test. Next, there are Round Robin rounds (say that five times fast). They are just like Jeopardy, complete with buzzers, but with 3 teams instead of individuals.
There is a bit of strategy involved-- they get two points for a correct answer, but they lose one
point for an incorrect answer buzzed in before the question was completed. No points are won or lost for an incorrect answer buzzed in after the question is completely read. So you want to be quick to out-buzz the other teams, but maybe not too quick.
After the Round Robin portion, the 12 top-scoring teams make it to the quarterfinals, then the semifinals, and then only three teams will remain standing for the championship. We will see who has what it takes to take home the crown.
ALEX: Alright, so who does have what it takes to take home the crown? Roosevelt High School and Boulder High School are perennial powerhouses in the Knowledge Bowl, but Dino Ridge Science Quiz Bowl is a little different with its focus. I guess we’ll find out. But first, our crew took some time to get to know some of the competitors individually.
The Competition Begins: Learn More About Dino Ridge, Paleontology, and the Bone Wars
CANDACE: Wow those high schoolers are impressive.
ALEX: Absolutely. Well, we are underway here at Lakewood High School. Lots of competitions happening in all these classrooms. Don’t worry we will have a full report on all these at the end of the day. In the meantime though, Candace, I believe we are going to learn a little more about Dinosaur Ridge.
CANDACE: That’s right. We want to tell you all about Dinosaur Ridge and the amazing finds there: how folks can walk up and literally touch fossils in the ground, and even show you what a real life paleontologist does every day. To start off the segment, given today’s theme of competition, we thought we’d tell you a little bit about something called the Bone Wars which happened at Dinosaur Ridge over 120 years ago.
ALEX: Welcome back. Boy, what a day. Do we have a summary for you! But first, Candace, you’ve been out there during the day. You were able to get some interesting interviews with the competitors.
CANDACE: You know I really was. Let’s just roll some of these clips.
ALEX: Things kicked off with a short written round, but then we jumped right into the “Jeopardy” style rounds.
CANDACE: Yes, in the first round we got to see Weld Central Team C, Kiowa Team B, and Horizon Team A. At first it looked like Horizon was going to run away with it with a 6 to 1 to 0 lead, but don’t count Weld Central out yet. Weld came out of nowhere at the end, answering 10 answers correctly. In the end it was Weld 17, Horizon 10, Kiowa 1.
ALEX: Meanwhile across the hall we had Vanguard vs. Cheyenne Mountain vs. CO Early College of Aurora. Early College of Aurora started strong and never took their foot off the gas. Cheyenne Mountain wasn’t able to slide a correct answer in until the 20th question.But there was one question that tripped up all three teams. The question was on what landmass did 27 species of flightless flightless birds become extinct soon after the appearance of humans. Teams guessed Madagascar, Australia, and North America, but the correct answer was New Zealand.
CANDACE: I didn’t know that answer either.
ALEX: Neither did I.
CANDACE: Ok, let’s cover one more match-up in this round. Boulder High School. That’s a name you are going to hear a lot today. Boulder High School was in control of the round from the beginning, slaying questions like “The Oviraptor’s skin was covered in mostly what.” The what, of course, is feathers. Birds are descendants of dinosaurs. The final score was Boulder 20, Cheyenne Mountain 6, Rock Canyon 4.
ALEX: On to round two. Let’s go to Horizon vs. EDGE at Legend High School vs. Dakota Ridge. This was a low scoring match. The competitors struggled against tough questions about stromatolites, alluvium, and gastropods. EDGE pulled ahead of the pack midway through the round and was able to hang on. Final score: EDGE 9, Horizon 5, Dakota Ridge 5.
CANDACE: You know I told you to remember the name Boulder High School? Well there’s another team name you should remember: Liberty High School. Boulder and Liberty went head to head in this round, with Palmer Ridge just trying to get a word in edgewise. At one tense point in the match, a Boulder student answered a question correctly, but too late. Liberty then buzzed in, said Boulder’s answer, and got the point. But, in the end, Boulder did pull off the win: Boulder 14, Liberty 12, and Palmer Ridge 6.
ALEX: Let’s jump ahead to round three now. Horizon vs. EDGE vs. Kiowa. The back and forth on this round was incredible. EDGE was quick out of the gate, getting every single one of the first 10 questions right. But then Horizon went on a streak and caught up with them. In the end, Horizon pulled off the amazing rally and won the round: Horizon 17, EDGE 16, Kiowa 1.
CANDACE: And today we learned that there is such a thing as home classroom advantage. Lakewood went up against Cheyenne Mountain Team B and Roosevelt Team B. Lakewood dominated this round from the beginning to end, with correct answers about amphibians, silica, and even facing a question about the literary creature, the jabberwocky.
ALEX: Well, and you know we have to report on the two giants this round: Boulder and Liberty. The two went head to head again, this time joined by Roosevelt Team C. Roosevelt had just come off an incredible match where they scored 25 points, but they couldn’t keep up with these two powerhouses. Boulder and Liberty were neck and neck the entire time. Near the middle of the match, the scorekeeper made a mistake and gave Boulder an extra point, Boulder let the scorekeeper know and gave up the point, showing incredible sportsmanship. In the end, Boulder really missed that point. Liberty won with 20 points to Boulder’s 19 and Roosevelt’s 2.
CANDACE: At this point, the judges tallied up the scores and sent the top 12 highest scoring teams to the quarterfinals. In one quarterfinal match it was Boulder vs. Rock Canyon vs. Horizon. The question came up: “what is the geological term that rhymes with ‘spice’? The answer, which Boulder got correct, was nice. But nice was not a word I would use to describe this round. Boulder smoked their opponents, 31 to Horizon’s 8 and Rock Canyon’s 1.
ALEX: Another quarterfinals match was Weld Central vs. Roosevelt vs Cheyenne Mountain. This was a pretty evenly matched round across the board. Cheyenne held a slim lead through the beginning of the round, but in the final 10 questions, Weld pulled ahead and claimed victory.
CANDACE: The other quarterfinals match was Palmer Ridge vs. Lakewood vs. Early Colleges of Aurora. Early Colleges answered questions about plate tectonics and detritivores, while Palmer Ridge got points off questions about sound frequency and Indonesia. But they couldn’t keep up with the home team. Lakewood earned their way to the semifinals: Lakewood 15, Palmer Ridge 14, Early Colleges 9.
That takes us to the semifinals. Boulder at the 1st seed vs. Weld Central (3rd seed) vs. Roosevelt (6th seed). The scorekeepers were tight in this round. One student from Weld spoke out of turn and was disqualified from a question. A Boulder student was not awarded a point because he said ‘meteor’ instead of ‘meteorite.’ In the end, Boulder still won: 17pts to Roosevelt’s 12 and Weld Central’s 4.
ALEX: On the other side of the semifinals it was Cheyenne Mountain vs. Liberty vs. Lakewood. Lakewood was the team that got off to a good start. It earned points on questions about rolling friction, supercontinents, and the North Star. But Liberty then turned on the jets, getting points on questions about the Doldrum section of the Atlantic Ocean, lumens, and yes, even Beetlejuice. But Liberty’s rally wasn’t enough to take over the home team. The final score was Lakewood 13, Liberty 12, Cheyenne Mountain 9.
CANDACE: The championship consisted of the two winning teams from the semifinals (Boulder and Lakewood) and the highest scoring losing team in the semifinals (Liberty). Remember that Liberty was the only team able to beat Boulder in the earlier rounds. Could they pull it off again? The answer: No. Boulder held the lead for most of the tournament and was able to outlast Liberty’s hot streak near the end. Final score: Boulder 20, Liberty 12, Lakewood 9.
ALEX: That does it for us today at the first annual Dinosaur Ridge Science Quiz Bowl. We’ve had quite a day watching high schoolers duke it out over paleontology.
CANDACE: And we also saw a lot of camaraderie today. It’s really special to see these kids compete as hard as they can, and then when the round is over, laugh and joke and just hang out.
ALEX: It’s hard not to have fun when you’re talking dinosaurs.
CANDACE: Which is why everyone should come visit us over Dinosaur Ridge! I’m the Education Programs Coordinator there-- I would love for viewers to stop by and say hi!
ALEX: It’s a neat place. And so close to Denver. I know from our end at Colorado Public Television, we are so thankful for being invited to be part of this.
CANDACE: Absolutely. We love partnering with Colorado Public Television.
ALEX: Alright so long everyone and see you back here next year for Dino Ridge Science Quiz Bowl.
Quiz Bowl Coverage
Katie hasn't written for ESPN yet, but once they take a look at this masterpiece of Dinosaur Quiz Bowl coverage...move over Holly Rowe! Katie was hired by PBS to create a shoe-string budget show covering the local paleontology quiz bowl. Cue the Jock Jams and get hyped for a dino-mite script!