On Saturday, October 8th, the Academic Team will travel to Columbia University to partake in the Columbia Cup, a prestigious quiz-bowl style tournament for high school students hosted by the university. Team members have been preparing for the event throughout the last several weeks, by studying material at home and practicing at the weekly Academic Team meetings. Seniors Nathan Lerner, Amy Geiger, and Jacqueline Walzer, along with sophomores Eddie Zuckerbrot, Ben Cooper, and Alan Cooper, will be representing Friends Academy at the event.
This is the first time in several years that the Academic Team will be going to the Columbia Cup. Team members have expressed high levels of enthusiasm and excitement for the event. According to Amy Geiger, one of the six students attending: “The tournament is a great way to kick off our season and seasons to come. It’s the biggest competition we’ve been to so far… Columbia is really exciting because it’s so new.”
Normally, Academic Team participates in monthly tournaments at Great Neck South High School, where they compete against other high schools from within Nassau County. However, the Columbia Cup will attract a larger crowd, an important aspect of the excitement many team members elaborated upon. Senior Nathan Lerner stated that he’s “excited to meet and vanquish new opponents (in the most Quakerly way possible, of course)… We are confident that we can improve on the Varsity team’s competition record from last year.”
A-Team, (as it is affectionately called by club members), meets on Mondays and Wednesdays in the biology room during major and minor committee blocks. A typical session consists of students answering questions in a buzzer-style setting on various topics, such as American history, mainstream media, or Russian literature. This year, the club hopes to gain more representation from the freshmen and junior classes. Anyone, regardless of experience or membership in the club, is welcome to participate.
Lerner, who is also a captain of A-Team, stated: “at the core of the Academic Team’s philosophy is the pursuit of knowledge… But an unavoidable side effect of clicking buzzers and answering trivia questions is having fun.”
When asked about her favorite aspect of A-Team, Geiger said: “It’s taught me so much random stuff about everything. It’s great just being there, being competitive, having fun, and learning new things every time.”