Radnor Hi-Q Finishes Strong

Brooke McCormick

Radnor’s Hi-Q team takes part in the oldest continuous academic quiz competition in the nation that started in 1948. We have 12 team members, including team captains Alex Leonardi and Drew Doughan and on-stage competitors Neal Chan, Sarah Vizz, Priya Ganash, and myself, Brooke McCormick. We were all selected through a rigorous try-out process at the beginning of the year. Our faculty advisors are Mr. King and Mr. Spear.

During the fall and winter season, we compete against 21 other Delaware county teams in three different competitions before semi-finals and finals. In each match, we are asked detailed, challenging questions from material we receive from various textbooks and other resources. The questions span many categories: American History, Current Events, Biology, Geography, Sports, World History, Art History, Shakespeare, Literature, Chemistry, Physics, and Mathematics. The team meets every week on Wednesdays. During these after-school meetings, as well as in our free time, each of us thoroughly reviews the extensive content. For example, I learned hundreds of facts about post-impressionistic art and segments of world history. Fortunately, our hard work paid off; the 2016-2017 season was quite successful, and Radnor Hi-Q finished in second place.

This was my first year competing in Hi-Q, and I thought it was a pleasurable way to learn about many diverse subjects. One of my categories this year was art history. Although I’d never taken a course on the subject before, I found myself relishing the content. As someone who enjoys creating art, it was interesting to learn a fascinating segment of history through an artistic lens. I covered Post-Impressionistic artwork and now am well versed in identifying works by Cezanne, Gauguin, Rodin and many other late-nineteenth-century artists.

Nonetheless, Hi-Q is stressful; each of us only has fifteen seconds to prepare our answer in front of a judge and an audience of our peers. I learned to think on my feet and rapidly press the buzzer for a pick-up point. Preparing the content took a lot of work, but it was great to do well in competitions and to contribute to such a strong team. Additionally, this year was the first time Radnor had made it to finals since 2009, so we are on an upward trend. Hopefully, we’ll take first place next year!