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Students practice for brain bowl by taking on teachers

The showdown happened yesterday after school in Mr. Okun’s classroom as four students took on four teachers, answering questions on art, literature, math, history, and science. The purpose of the hour was to give students practice at coming up with instant answers to questions similar to those that will be asked at the annual Pasco County “brain bowl.”

The four student chairs were filled on a rotating basis by Jonathan Heppner, James Graham, Jessica Curley, Melody Goodenough, Brett Walsh, and Dominika Krasnyanszky.

Mr. Okun, who is preparing Gulf students for the competition next week, said the six were chosen from an original group of fifteen students. He said they were chosen in part because as a group they seemed to be expert in a wide variety of subject areas.

The teachers who agreed to take part in the practice session were Mrs. Ledman, Mr. Miller, Mr. Mayer, and Mr. Snyder. Mr. Okun asked the questions. Mr. Imerson, Gulf’s Principal, watched the event and periodically held up a sign reading, “Go students!”

It’s now official: We didn’t know for sure until yesterday, but at Gulf High School the teachers are smarter than the students. (Had it turned out differently, you wouldn’t be reading this article.)

The students started with an early lead for the first few minutes but after the teachers figured out the importance of hitting the buzzer quickly, they went ahead in points and won a convincing victory.

According to Mr. Okun, students from each high school team have ten seconds to come up with answer after hitting the buzzer. But if they buzz in before the question is completed, they lose a point if they give a wrong answer.

The “brain bowl” is now known officially as the Commissioner’s Academic Challenge. It takes place on Feb. 13.

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