Science Quiz Bowl tests IT students

Graduate students beat out previously undefeated first-year students.

Emily Banks

Students whispered and slid notes across the tables, trying to come to an agreement on the names of chemical elements and mathematical properties Tuesday in Walter Library.

Institute of Technology students tested their knowledge of everything from the solar system to song lyrics at the third-annual Libraries’ Science Quiz Bowl championship.

The team of graduate students, Members Only, beat the previously undefeated team of first-year students, The Fundamental Forces, in two rounds.

Mathematics librarian Kristine Fowler hosted the tournament. “I know the temptation is great to tell your neighbor you know the answer, but I’m going to ask you to stifle your urge,” Fowler said to the dozen people in the audience before the championship round began.

Questions included naming chemical elements, the instrument Yo-Yo Ma plays (cello) and the fictional energy source in “Star Trek” (dilithium crystals) – all of which the teams were able to answer.

When quizzed on the lyrics to a Toby Keith and Willie Nelson song, neither team knew the answer and finished the line, “Whiskey for my men” with “champagne for the ladies” and “money” instead of the correct answer, “beer for my horses.”

Amid the knee-bouncing and nail-biting, the contestants kept a light attitude, laughing at answers and questions they didn’t know.

“Here’s where you get to use your knowledge of erectile dysfunction,” Fowler said, introducing a question about types of erectile dysfunction medications.

The audience and contestants laughed when The Fundamental Forces knew the name of an erectile dysfunction drug that lasts the length of a weekend (Cialis).

The game began with a toss-up question when either team could buzz to answer, followed by a multipart question for the winning team. If they answered the multipart question incorrectly, the other team could answer.

Knowledge of professional athletics gave the Members Only team an advantage when asked to name the six teams that have won NBA championships since 1984. The Fundamental Forces’ captain Allison Jonjak, a first-year bio-systems and agriculture engineering, guessed two of the correct answers and Members Only named the other four teams (for the complete answer, Lakers, Celtics, Pistons, Bulls, Rockets and Spurs).

Greg Panuccio, a chemical engineering graduate student on the Members Only team, said he prepared a little for the tournament by looking up planets and moons, but the team said they didn’t have a strategy or serious study session.

Matt Panzer, chemical engineering graduate student on the Members Only team, said, “It’s just a fun break for us from research.”