Middle School Historians Compete in Chicago

Guest post by Jamie Stowe P’20: The Middle School’s first year of participation in the National History Bee and Bowl succeeded beyond anyone’s expectations.

Eight Gilman students earned an invitation to participate in the national competition based on their success in the regionals. The National Bee and Bowl took place in Chicago during the National History Fair. Over 700 Middle School students from across the United States competed in a variety of history-related events. Along with other proud parents, I accompanied the group to Chicago. It was a wonderful experience.

Jordan Bonardi ‘20, Jacob Delgado ‘20, Stefan Velculescu ‘20, Vasili Antoniades ’21, and Arvin Elangovan ‘21, all competed in the individual History Bee as well as the team competition, the History Bowl. Jeffrey Li ‘20, Aaron Lieberman ‘20, and Charlie Nuermberger ’21 also qualified for the nationals, but were unable to attend.History Bee team 1200px

Jordan, Jacob, and Stefan finished in the top 25% of eighth grade participants, with Jacob ranking high enough to compete in the first History Bee championship round. Vasili and Arvin finished in the top 33% of seventh grade participants.

The highlight of the trip was the History Bowl team competition. The team competition is the best combination of knowledge and strategy. It requires the team to work together and approach each of the four quarters with a different strategy. For the Gilman team to have achieved what they did together is a fantastic reflection on the Middle School history department.

Our boys conducted themselves in a manner reflective of the school’s values. The team was a great representation of the Gilman Five! I watched other teams tearing each other down for a ‘bad buzz’ — but not our team. They supported each other through correct and incorrect answers.

In a round of 30 questions it was rare for a question to be read to completion. The students typically get the answers within the first five words of the first sentence.

Of the 52 teams that competed in the championship, the Gilman team tied for ninth place.

Jordan, Jacob, and Stefan wish the best of luck to Vasili and Arvin as they lead the rising 8th graders in continuing Gilman’s success at the Middle School National History Bee and Bowl.


Are you as smart as an 8th grader? Here’s a sample question: 

Because of this event, the height of flimsy structures called insulae was restricted. People blamed for this event were used as human torches during dinner parties. After this event, the architects Severus and Celer were hired to build the Domus Aurea, or Golden House. The Pisonian conspiracy was formed following this event. A man who blamed this event on secret communities of Christians supposedly sang about Troy and played his lyre while it occurred. For the point, name this event that destroyed large parts of Rome during Nero’s reign.

Answer: Great Fire of Rome 


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