By VINAY MENON ’23 and DEVAM MONDAL ’24
Edison High School is home to a multitude of unique clubs catering to the interests of its student body. One such club is Quiz Bowl, which recently saw a spike in membership and a substantial improvement in performance.
Quiz Bowl saw its current flurry of activity begin around last year, when the club began participating in many tournaments, such as the Rutgers Novice Tournament, Bardbowl, and East Brunswick Funfest. However, the club has been present for several years prior. As club co-president Yash Mandavia ‘22 said, “Records online show that Edison had a Quizbowl team dating all the way back to 2012; however, in more recent times, Pavanganesh Kolisetty ‘19, Jeffery Zhou ‘19, and Gnaneswar Chundi ‘19 were the ones who helped restart the club at the school.”
The club has appealed to a sizable spectrum of students since its return to EHS. For instance, many individuals who wish to have fun while learning more about specific topics choose to join the club, as it provides them with a competitive environment where they strive to do their best. Club co-president Ali Ahmed ‘22 said, “People choose to join our club for several reasons. We provide a level of academic competition not available in other places at Edison High School in a manner that is both inviting and fun! We welcome every player who wants to join and make sure that they’re introduced to a community of like-minded individuals who want to have fun and want to academically succeed.”
The Edison High School Quiz Bowl program has also had various achievements. For instance, the A team placed 5th at the Thomas Jefferson Novice Academic Tournament out of 35 teams (read about here). The program has also sent teams to other prestigious tournaments, such as Virginia Commonwealth University’s winter tournament. Furthermore, the program established a summer training program that helped prepare incoming freshmen for their first quiz bowl competitions.
A new member this year, Nicole Le ‘22, said that “besides just being a fun way to pass time, Quizbowl has further exposed me to subjects not emphasized in school (geography, theology, fine arts) for which I am grateful.” Avinash Aravind ‘23, who joined last year, said, “I joined [the club] because I was interested in the concept of trivia when I first heard about it, and as I got to know more about the game…it looked like more and more fun.”
The club now sees rapid growth which allows it to send 2-3 teams to most tournaments it participates in. Ahmed said, “Overall, we’ve evolved and streamlined many aspects of the club and allowed for the team to naturally grow through the years. Although times were rough at some points, we’ve taken the same spirit and culture and expanded it to over 30 members.”
Looking to the future, the Edison High School Quiz Bowl program hopes to continue to improve its performance in competition through consistent practice, and widen its appeal to more students. One of the club’s concrete goals this year is to qualify its A team for the national level competition. It also hopes to iron out logistics and organize more scrimmage matches with the teams from JP Stevens High School and Middlesex County STEM Academy in order to maintain smooth operation going forward. Overall, the club appreciates its recent growth and hopes to continue this path into the future.
Photo Credit: Alyson Zhang ’22