The competition has four main divisions, corresponding to United States educational system 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. Participation in the 5th/6th Branches is available in all 48 continental US states, but 7th/8th Division is open only to the 16 states who have expressed the most interest. A school has the power to choose the size and members of a team and can also divide prospective students into several teams.
The school is mailed several disks of practice questions to prep for the competition and one for the official quiz. The quiz has a variety of questions on a diverse range of topics: Math, Literature, Grammar, Writing, Sports, Science, History, Current Events, etc. After a telephone interview with the headmaster or teacher to confirm that the taking of the quiz was ethical and fair, the school reports the results to the state coördinator. After a few days or weeks, the state announces the final winners. The 16 teams with the highest scores nationally are eligible to take a final national quiz. These finalists are referred to as the "Sweet Sixteen". They then take a more difficult, challenging quiz to determine their ranking in the nation.
Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl
Thinking Cap Quiz Bowl is an Iowa-based business that conducts computer quiz bowls for grades 5, 6, 7 and 8 in all states. It was established in 1989 and was the first to offer computer quiz bowls for elementary students. Avid Trivial Pursuit players, Shirley and Harvey Kimble own the company. Harvey has been a secondary Gifted and Talented teacher for many years and is also a G/T consultant for Des Moines Public Schools.
State contests were offered at 5th & 6th grade level for the 48 continental United States. At the 7th & 8th grade level, currently 16 states have their own contest. Also offered at 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grades are nationwide contests of 2 week duration, called Thinking Cap America Answers, contests taken via the internet where all states compete together in the spring.
Each contest is 100 multiple-choice questions to be taken by a school team. Team size is not limited and schools may enter as many teams as they want. Practice disks are available for sale, most of which are previous contests. The quizzes cover a diverse range including: math, literature, grammar, sports, science, history, government, current events and more. For the state contests, the scores are phoned to TCQB on quiz day and the teacher confirms that the test was taken according to the rules. Results are posted the day after the contest and trophies and ribbons are sent to winners a week later. The nationwide America Answers internet contest differs in that scores are sent directly to TCQB from the computer at the end of the contest.
The website provides additional information. www.thinkingcapquizbowl.com
submitted by Shirley Kimble, owner