Students participate in Brain Bowl

On Friday, March 25 students participated in a jeopardy-like competition


photo by Jackie Pham

Senior Hannah Connell, senior Reagan Eastlick, senior Matthew Whisenant, senior Julia Shepp, junior Eshan Kabir, junior Tristan Irving, junior Connor Pham and junior Michael Ma pose for a photo after Brain Bowl. the two teams scored 2-5 and 3-4.

The four contestants stand in a line, waiting for the question to be asked. Finally, the question is announced, an extremely advanced calculus question. The teams scramble to find the answer. Senior Reagan Eastlick buzzes in, proudly shouting the answer, which he had recently reviewed in a YouTube video. “π^2/6!” he shouts. The other teams shake their heads and snicker, thinking he was wrong, but they quickly stop when the judge announces he was correct.

Brain Bowl, an academic competition for all high schools in Seminole County, was held Friday, March 25 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Students are split into groups by school, ranging from four to six participants in each group.

Hagerty’s two teams, Blue and Black, had nine students in total. Neither team placed, with records of 2-5 and 3-4, respectively. Despite the team records, two students scored well outside of their groups, Eastlick, who scored 10th overall, and junior Eshan Kabir who scored 14th overall. Both were a part of Hagerty Blue.

Since Brain Bowl is set up like a game show, it gives participants a rush of adrenaline, while also making them nervous to ring in, according to Eastlick. 

“I’m a big Jeopardy fan and that’s probably the closest thing I’ll get to doing something like that,” senior Hannah Connell said.

Hagerty’s Brain Bowl teams have been sponsored by Brandi Malkovich for 14 years, excluding the past two years when it was canceled due to COVID-19. She enjoys seeing the students gain the confidence to push the buzzer before the other schools can, and hopes to see the students improve academically and continue to explore topics that interest them.

“[ I want them to have] a continued drive, for them to be into [academics] and enjoy it,” Malkovich said. “It’s a different group of kids but they get to know each other and make connections.