You might call it the “Super Bowl for really smart kids.” It’s the Senior High Knowledge Bowl competition during which students exercise their minds instead of their bodies, and they better know a little something about everything if they want to compete at the highest levels.

The Rushford-Peterson Senior High Knowledge Bowl teams were in Rochester on Wednesday, March 8, at the Southeast Service Cooperative.

Twenty-seven teams took part in the sub-regional competition, and two Rushford-Peterson teams scored high enough to move on to regional competition.

Mary Wolter coaches the R-P SH Knowledge Bowl teams, and she said they had a very good day on Wednesday.

“There were 27 teams taking part in the sub-region competition, and we had two of the six teams that moved on from Wednesday (six also moved on from Tuesday’s competition),” Wolter said.

“It was a two-day competition for the 10-12 graders, featuring 59 teams from 19 area schools that compete in our tier. We competed on the second day of the competition on Wednesday. The kids worked really hard to move on to the next round.”

For people who aren’t familiar with this type of competition, the Minnesota Service Cooperative Knowledge Bowl competition is an interdisciplinary academic competition for students.

During the competition, teams compete in written and oral rounds by answering questions that are related to all areas of learning that are typical of high school educational programs.

“The event starts out with 60 written questions that the team does together,” Wolter said. “They get 50 minutes to do the written test.

After that, they compete against other teams and must answer oral questions. Each of the teams has a buzzer, and they ring in when they think they know the answer. The total scores get added up, and the winners move on.”

She said the written and oral questions can cover virtually any topic “from A to Z.” Potential topics include history, math, current events, social studies and geography.

“Literally any topic is fair game,” Wolter pointed out.

The next logical question is “How does a person or a team study everything?”

Her answer was a simple – “There are some people like that,” she said while laughing. “We just call them walking encyclopedias.”

The R-P teams come together once a week for Knowledge Bowl practice, but otherwise, Wolter said the kids do a lot of practicing on their own.

The two Rushford-Peterson teams that advanced will compete in the regional competition coming up on Monday, March 20, at the Southeast Service Cooperative in Rochester, beginning at 8 am.

The two teams include: Nathan Wick, Aaron Munson, Logan Quimby, Tovah Schroeder and Nell Himlie on Team 1; and Mike Ekern, Matt Strapp, Anna Kjos, Olivia Hoff and Jordan McNamer on Team 3.

The top two teams in each tier (A and AA) move on to represent each region in the state Knowledge Bowl, scheduled for April 6-7 this year.

In addition, the third-place team from each tier that has the highest score at regionals will advance to state. The Knowledge Bowl Tournament will be held at Cragun’s Resort on Gull Lake in Brainerd.