Team places second in Maryland, eleventh overall
Blair's It's Academic club placed 11th out of 774 teams in the world in the spring 2006 Knowledge Master Open (KMO) competition on April 26. With a score of 1685 out of 2000 points, Blair again fell behind Richard Montgomery High School's team and placed second in the state of Maryland.
KMO is an international academic competition that is held twice a year. before the competition, each team receives a CD with all 200 questions, ranging in topic from history, math, science and other academic subjects to trivia. All team members participate by shouting out the answer they believe is correct, while the team captain, senior Jeff Cao, chooses an answer and directs another student to type the response into the computer. Although the team receives two chances to select the correct answer, more points are awarded for speed and accuracy on the first try.
According to math teacher David Fantegrossi, the club's sponsor, KMO has not been much of a focus for this year's team, which is why Blair placed 9th in the fall and 11th this spring. "We practiced very little and made little effort to recruit those students who might have been helpful from outside of the It's Ac club," he said.
He likes to think the team has a "leg up in math and science," but notes that several mistakes were made because team members try to solve the math problems too quickly. A broad knowledge of science can also be detrimental, he said, as it can lead to too much debate amongst the team.
Though the team had not been performing well in KMO in the past year, Fantegrossi believes that the students have the potential to do well. "It's going to take a shift in attitude. Next year's team just needs to decide that KMO is an area we want to be competitive in," Fantegrossi said. "We always have been in the past, and clearly could again, but this year we just didn't really want it."
Blair KMO participants:
Lois Bangiolo. Lois Bangiolo was born on March 14, pi day, an auspicious date as she is now in the math-science magnet. In addition to writing for Silver Chips Online she runs track and is secretary of the MBHS Key Club. More »