Academic Bowl: Epic’s Olympics for aspiring geniuses

by EllaMai Queen

If you know the name of the sequel to Alice in Wonderland, which Chinese city served as the nation’s southern capital, or how to divide binomials by rationalizing their denominators, you may have what it takes to earn a spot on an Epic academic bowl team. 

LaVonna Funkhouser watched her team grow into state-ready competitors this year. 

Funkhouser teaches at Epic and coaches high school and “froshmore” teams – a team made up of freshmen and sophomores. 

Unlike teams at some traditional schools, Epic teams don’t typically meet in person until the competitions. They meet virtually the rest of the time. Although that might seem like a disadvantage, Epic teams have proven worthy of taking on the state’s best. 

“I think it’s a unique challenge for Epic teams, especially the ones that can’t meet face-to-face,” Funkhouser said. 

Students are grouped into four-person teams and compete against other schools. The first-through-third-place teams are given the opportunity to advance to state. Last year, Funkhouser’s team was invited to state, marking the second year in a row they had been invited. Although they didn’t place, she said the opportunity was worthwhile. 

She encouraged students who may be interested to join a team. To inquire, students should ask a teacher or fill out a form in PowerSchool. 

Competitions aren’t only in-person. Epic teams participate in online meets as well. Overall categories include social studies, math, science, humanities and fine arts. 

Photo Caption: The Epic Froshmore team competes at the Oklahoma Association for Academic Competition state championship in March. Team members shown, from left, Captain Gabrielle Searcy, Adrian Velasco, Banning Lutzenberger and Wyatt Mayo. Courtesy photo.

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