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GSMS team super in Brain Bowl

Kara Williams
Special to the Post Independent

The head of a Griffin makes up one quarter of its total body weight. Its wings make up one eighth of its total weight. And the rest of its body weighs 500 pounds.

Quick ” you’ve got 15 seconds. The total weight of the beast is how many pounds?

Know the answer? A team of sixth-graders from Glenwood Springs Middle School does, and the kids answered dozens of other questions like that one to take top honors at last Wednesday’s “Brain Bowl” competition held at the Colorado Mountain College’s Lappala Center in Carbondale.



Correctly answering questions on a variety of subjects, including math, science, history, literature, grammar and geography, the GSMS sixth-graders beat out eight other teams from Rifle, New Castle, Carbondale, Basalt and Aspen.

Entering the third and final round, the GSMS team was just one point ahead of Basalt Middle School. But Glenwood dominated the final round, scoring 29 points to boost its total score for the competition to 91 points.



“The kids were on fire,” said Megan Dean, coordinator for the middle school’s gifted and talented program and Brain Bowl competition.

Rifle Middle School came in second with 71 points. Aspen Middle School, whose competition-day roster vacancies were filled by three alternate team members from Glenwood Springs, came in third with 69 points.

Most of the kids on the sixth-grade Brain Bowl team are in the PEAC program, which stands for Placement for Educationally Advanced Children, although tryouts are open to the entire school.

“The Brain Bowl is great because it gives kids who thrive academically a chance to compete and be recognized,” said Dean.

Brain Bowl questions are read aloud, and the first team to press its buzzer gets the first chance at answering.

“Listening skills are key,” said Dean. “The questions are often complex, and if they don’t listen well, then they’re down for the count.”

The winning Glenwood Springs team consisted of Cailey Arensman, Mckenna Casey, Taylor Goodstein, Megan Gould, Wyatt Israel, Abril Loya, Albert Rogers and Rachel Sobke.

Glenwood participants on the third-place “Aspen Springs” team were Shelby Hailey, Mitchell Somsen and Risa Wampler.

The team’s coaches were Megan Dean, Trina Haines, Pam Pine and Lisa Sobke.

Brain Bowl competitions for regional seventh and eighth graders will take place Wednesday, Feb. 4, and Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Figured out the answer to the brainteaser above? The Griffin weighs 800 pounds.


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