Question: Name the scientific theory that holds that all forces in the universe are part of a single force. Answer: Unified Field Theory.
Question: Given a right triangle with a hypotenuse of 2 square root of 5 and one leg equal to two, calculate the length of the other leg.
Question: What is the name of the author who wrote the work "This Side of Paradise?"
Answer: F. Scott Fitzgerald.
These are just a sample of questions members of the Le Mars Community High School and Gehlen Catholic High School Quiz Bowl teams confront in their competitions at area Quiz Bowl tournaments.
The teams took on their largest field of competition Jan. 6 when they competed with 37 teams from Iowa and Nebraska for a spot in the 16-team KTIV Quiz Bowl Tournament. The preliminary tournament was held at Morningside College.
Both Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic teams qualified for the 16-team field for the televised competition.Taping of their first round was held Jan. 17.
The Le Mars Community team's first round competition against Westwood of Sloan will be televised this Saturday, Jan. 27, at 5 p.m. on KTIV Channel 4. Gehlen's first round competition against Sioux City East is set for Saturday, Feb. 3, also at 5 p.m.
Jeanne Rust, Challenge instructor at Le Mars Community Schools, is coach for the LCHS team. At Gehlen, Carolyn Bickford, language arts instructor and Carol Kessenich, math instructor, serve as coaches for the team.
For LCHS, the team of Darin Friedrichs, Hana Fischer, Erik Tonsfeldt and Vijay Permeswaran competed in the taping. Alternates are Andrew Meredith and Mitch Baas, with Lara Roy also accompanying as an alternate. All are seniors.
Gehlen's competing team members are Thomas Henrich, Will Driscoll, Eric Sorensen, all seniors and Sarah Gengler, junior. Alternates are Shahryar Naqvi, junior and Melissa Kellen, sophomore.
"The qualifying round is tough and questions are hard," said Carolyn Bickford. "We're strong in math, current events and religion," she said of the team.
"There are the predictable categories such as presidents, world capitals, and current events, as well as math, science and literature," said Jeanne Rust. "Some of the information is what students learn in school, while other is self-learned."
Science questions may include physics, geology, biology and chemistry, with math touching on trigonometry, calculus, general math and algebra. Technology, foreign language and history are some other popular categories.
Both instructors say their teams prepare by using questions from previous tournaments. At LCHS 20 students are out for Quiz Bowl. Gehlen has 22 students,
"We try to make even teams with our students to compete against each other," said Bickford. "We try to make it fun, too. They like to win, they're competitive."
Rust noted the LCHS team has had a good year, with wins at tournaments at Algona Garrigan and South O'Brien, and making the finals at the Lawton-Bronson tournament.
Gehlen Catholic has taken a second place at the MOC-Floyd Valley tournament. "We hope to finish the year strong and win the conference tournament," said Bickford. That tournament is in March.
Rust has coached quiz bowl teams for seven years, with this being the third time the team has qualified for the KTIV tournament. Gehlen Catholic last qualified for the tournament three years ago.
Quiz bowl teams consist of four team members, who compete in four rounds in a match. Team members buzz in to answer a question, and there is no penalty for a wrong answer. However, the team has only one chance on to answer a question.
The quiz bowl season runs from October through February, longer if the teams qualify for the KTIV tournament.
"The kids really want to do this, they commit for the year," said Rust. "No one is turned away." Le Mars Community has varsity and junior varsity teams in competition.
"We have good junior varsity kids coming up," Rust noted.