From pseudocode to gravitational force to the contributions of 18th century French mathematician Sophie Germain, Brookdale students faced a wide range of tough questions during the 2017 STEM Quiz Bowl, held on April 13 in the Student Life Center.
Twelve teams of six students competed in the annual academic trivia competition, with the top three teams earning a share of more than $1,300 in cash prizes. The winning team claimed $100 per student, with $75 per person for the second place team and $50 per person for the third place team.
Students were tested on a variety of subjects, including mathematics, “women in STEM,” environmental science, physics, biology, chemistry, computer science and engineering. Each team was comprised of representatives from a variety of STEM majors, who worked together to complete timed multistep problems, trivia, and even trick questions on white erase boards.
The STEM Quiz Bowl was organized and hosted by assistant mathematics professors and Math Club co-advisors Spyro Roubos and Ana Teodorescu, along with physics instructional assistant and Physics and Astronomy Club advisor Michelle Paci. Sponsors of this year’s STEM Quiz Bowl included the Brookdale Math Club, the Physics and Astronomy Club, W.E.S.T., the Biology Club, the Chemistry Society, the Computer Science Club and the Engineering Student Association.
“The Quiz Bowl builds a sense of community; it brings students together and it gets them excited about being at Brookdale,” said Teodorescu. “It creates a sense of community. The turnout today was incredible, and we’re all very happy.”
Even though teams were serious about winning the Quiz Bowl, it didn’t stop the Brookdale students from coming up with comedic, catchy and clever team names such as the Exponentials, Net Force, the Anarchist Archimedians, and We’re Only Here to Beat Anthony, a light-hearted jab at 2017 Brookdale NASA STEM Fellow Anthony Mauro.
Some teams also adopted faculty-inspired names such as Spyro the Dragon and Geiselmen.
To keep the challenge high for Brookdale’s highest achieving STEM students, faculty “quiz masters” created unique questions and verified answers. They included: biology instructional assistant Frank Pietropollo; chemistry professor Eric Goll; engineering and technology professor Lisa Hailey; assistant mathematics professor Susan Monroe; computer science instructor Peter Geiselman; physics professor Nancy Liu; mathematics instructor Michael Nolan; and environmental science instructor Juliette Goulet.
The Anarchist Archimedians and We’re Only Here to Beat Anthony were neck-and-neck throughout the Quiz Bowl, with the Anarchist Archimedians pulling out the victory during an intense, sudden death tie-breaker.
Anarchist Archimedians team member Jordan Phillips said he was pleasantly surprised with his team’s victory.
“It feels good. It feels really good. I wasn’t expecting it, but it’s great,” said Phillips, second-year chemistry major and member of the Brookdale Chemistry Society. “The money’s great, but the bragging rights are definitely better. Most of the teams know each other, because it’s all STEM students and we’ve all had classes together, so there’s definitely that sense of competition. It’ll be nice to walk through the STEM department now.”
If you would like to meet other students who are taking STEM courses, visit The STEM Lounge in MAS 107 or join a STEM Club.
Learn more about Brookdale’s STEM Institute here.
Check out more photos of the 2017 STEM Quiz Bowl here.
– Article and photos by Minh Connors, college relations intern