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Bailey students are top Minnesota team in Knowledge Master Open

Bailey Elementary Knowledge Master Open team, made up of fifth grade Gateway students, placed first in the state in the January competition. The team placed third in the nation. The team is made up of: Front row, left to right: Matt Gruber, Angad Cheema, Xander Hill, Zachary Haugstad, Subbarao Garlapati, Hughdan Liu, Spencer Nelson, Sam Crosby-Schmidt; Back row, left to right: Sam Bonny, Ryan Greyling, Stephen Williams, Peter Blanchfield, Ben Cimperman, Dylan Berg and advisor Theresa Campbell.

Some Woodbury students have proven they are masters of knowledge.

The fifth-grade Gateway students, at Bailey Elementary, placed first in the state in the Knowledge Master Open competition. The team placed third out of 206 teams in the nation.

The Knowledge Master Open is a computer-based semiannual worldwide academic competition in which teams of students from many schools earn points by answering 100 multiple-choice questions quickly and accurately. The questions tap 15 subject areas ranging from American history to biology.

"I love Knowledge Masters," fifth-grader Sam Crosby-Schmidt said. "It's fun and it's nerdy."

The students, part of the school's gifted and talented - or Gateway - program, walked away with a certificate "and pride," Crosby-Schmidt said.

"I wanted to have a party when we found out where we placed," he said.

Thinking as a team

The 206 teams that competed nationally in Knowledge Masters took the computerized multiple-choice test in January.

Only one student can be at the computer. Additionally students are not allowed to use any resource materials or calculators.

For each question, students earn points if they answer the question on the first try or on the second try. Students win bonus points depending on how quickly they answer.

In total, the Gateway students answered 97 out of 100 questions correctly, earning a score of 765 out of 1,000.

"The greatest benefit to this is that you're getting a group of individuals together," Knowledge Masters advisor Theresa Campbell said. "The fact that they are cooperatively coming up with an answer and working together is great -- it's really a great opportunity for them to work together."

In order to prep for the Knowledge Master Open, each student took one of the texts to study.

"They decided to each become experts on different subjects," Campbell said.

Additionally, the team went through some practice tests from the previous years.

Crosby-Schmidt said the couple questions that tripped them dealt with literature and Indian summers.

Gearing up for Round 2

The Gateway students will be heading back to the computer later this month for the second of two Knowledge Master Open competitions.

"Our goal this time is first in the nation," fifth-grader Ben Cimperman said. "We're ready for the next round."

Campbell said she is going to have her students start preparing sooner this time around.

Amber Kispert-Smith

Amber Kispert-Smith has been the schools and Afton reporter at the Woodbury Bulletin since 2008. She holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She previously worked as a reporter for Press Publications in White Bear Lake.

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