Bessie Rhodes School wins third annual health quiz bowl

Eunice Lee

As the announcer bellowed their school’s name, four students from Dr. Bessie Rhodes Magnet School rushed into the auditorium, pumping their fists and exchanging high-fives.

The team took their seats for the third annual Health Challenge Bowl, sponsored by Evanston Northwestern Healthcare and School District 65. The bowl was held Monday at Frank Auditorium in Evanston Hospital, 2650 Ridge Ave.

The event, modelled after a football game, took the form of a quiz bowl during which students answered questions about four health topics: body parts, nutrition, body systems and health.

Two questions were asked to each team every quarter and teams received seven points per correct answer.

Five schools participated in the challenge this year: Bessie Rhodes Magnet, Chute Middle, Haven Middle, Nichols Middle and King Lab Magnet schools.

Each team, comprised of two sixth-grade students and two seventh-grade students, chose a captain to orally answer each question posed.

A panel of judges – composed of certified nurses, the director of internal medicine and an event coordinator – decided if each answer was correct.

Friends and family of the participating students cheered on the teams from their seats.

At the end of the fourth quarter, the team representing Bessie Rhodes emerged victorious.

Anna Kahl, the coach of Bessie Rhodes’ team, said the students prepared for three weeks in advance of the challenge bowl. A physical education teacher at Bessie Rhodes, Kahl researched and taught the topics covered in the outline provided to the students on her team.

During practices, questions were asked to the students in a game format to prepare them for the culminating event.

“I think they gain new information that they probably wouldn’t get in a classroom,” Kahl said. “They gain the experience of working together as a team.”

According to Mary Larson, the event’s co-coordinator, the coaches of each team were given a general outline of the topics the students would be tested on, and the teams were required to thoroughly research each topic independently.

Students were required to know topics from the three major types of fats to which body system makes movement possible.

“They gain knowledge of the information studied, build esteem and have a chance to shine,” Larson said. “(The event) shines a spotlight on the kids in a positive way.”

Several teams failed to gain points because of time constraints, while others were challenged to elaborate on their original answers to gain the points for their team.

For winning the challenge, the members of the Bessie Rhodes team received a traveling trophy that will be displayed at their school for one year. In addition, each student received a $50 check and a medal.

All the students received an Evanston Northwestern Healthcare gym bag filled with prizes for their participation in the challenge bowl.

The bowl was created to imitate college quiz bowls, said Mark Schroeder, director of community relations for Evanston Northwestern Healthcare. It is purposefully held during Super Bowl week because of its competitive, football-style format.

“We wanted to make something fun and exciting for this age group,” Schroeder said. “It’s a recognition of and an opportunity for them to do something academic in nature.”

The trophy and awards for the winning team will be presented to the students and coach at the next District 65 board meeting.

Reach Eunice Lee at [email protected]