PORTLAND - A team of Oregon State University Honors College scholars has emerged victorious after a battle of knowledge with students from the University of Oregon and Portland Community College.
Teams from each of the schools met during the HP High Five Challenge, a televised quiz bowl competition now in its eighth season and taped at the studios of KPTV Channel 12 in Portland.
While the shows were taped this spring, the segment featuring OSU and the University of Oregon will air on Sept. 1, while the OSU vs. Portland Community College contest will air on Sept. 8.
"We won the first match against the University of Oregon and Portland Community College won (its) first match against Lewis and Clark College," said Michael Durham, an OSU sophomore from Beaverton who is majoring in computer science. "We then won the tournament with the win over Portland Community College.
"The High Five Challenge is a typical college bowl or quiz bowl show," Durham added. "There are five players on each team and the teams are asked questions about a variety of subjects, such as Asian history, lakes or the year 2000."
Other OSU team members included freshman Erik Sorenson and sophomores Jon Barbur, Jeff Glanville and Patrick Lew. Three of the OSU scholars had past experience in the High Five Challenge and all are members of the University Honors College at Oregon State.
"I participated last year and the whole issue of experience is very important," said Lew, an OSU bioengineering major from Albany. "Prior experience is key to your timing and just to the whole experience of being in front of the cameras."
"All the students are just really wonderful to work with," said Rachel Hochman, Honors College adviser, who helped the students train prior to the competition.
While the students got together several times prior to the taping, there were no heavy study sessions, according to Hochman. "What they did was to get together and play Trivial Pursuit," a board game based on questions about current events, she said.
Lew, a 1999 South Albany High School graduate, said the OSU team seemed to breeze through the questions. "No one person on our team dominated. Everyone participated and we really spread out the questions to everyone on the team."
Durham competed on his Sunset High School High Five Challenge team for three years, but despite his earlier experience, he still admits to a bit of apprehension when entering the television studio.
"You think you know everything, but when you get on stage and the lights come on, it's totally different.