By Vivian Lin

The Piedmont Hills History Team went to UC Berkeley to compete in the Northern California Championships History Bee and Bowl on Mar. 18.

The competition consisted of five different rounds, with each round divided into sub rounds: toss up, bonus, speed and final. The scoring and placements of the teams worked as a bracket system, with each team moving on to the next round depending on how well they scored in the previous.

History Team sent two squads, Junior Varsity and Varsity, to compete in the History Bowl, but both did not make it to semifinals. However, both teams qualified for the National History Bee and Bowl, which takes place in Washington DC next weekend from April 21-23.

“We totally exceeded our goals in my opinion, (and) we did really well against other schools. We played against Saratoga, and we didn’t win against them but we gave them a run for their money,” expresses president Nala Chen.

Members of the History Team trained tirelessly for the state competition, staying after school for hours to practice for their events. They used a variety of different questions, all from previous competitions, to prepare themselves as much as possible.

“We drilled a lot of speed rounds and focused on buzzing in before you had time to psych yourself out and think too hard about something. It wasn’t not knowing the questions, it was not answering fast enough,” explains History Team Advisor Amanda James.

Studying for the competition proved to be a challenge for the members, as well. Questions covered all of human history as well as other topics like art, science and modern pop culture.

“Human history is the past 5000 years, and sometimes questions pop up that are so obscure that I’ve never even heard of (the person’s) name,” laments Varsity member Julia Liang.

The team is currently fundraising for the national competition, and will decide who will represent Piedmont Hills based on availability. Because the competition is during spring break, many members may face conflicts with their schedules.

“The team dynamic is really nice! For the first week it was kind of awkward because no one knew each other, but after that we warmed up and now we just joke around,” jokes Nala.

They hope to raise enough money to be able to compete, and the remaining funds will be saved for next year.

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