First Intercollegiate “Knowledge Bowl” held in Dhofar Oman this week

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by Kevin Stoda

Pictured below is the victorious team in the intercollegiate competition, which is known as a Knowledge Bowl and was held in the Language Resource Center at Salalah College of Technology on Tuesday afternoon.  The winning team was from Dhofar University and consisted of Sumaira Idrees Toor, Lobna Awadh Ali Al Awadi, Bayan Mohammed Khalil, &  Ala Aref Ahmad Wazwaz.

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“Knowledge Bowl” is a name for several types of interdisciplinary quiz bowl-like competitions held around the world. On 21 of March 2017, 6 teams from two local colleges here in Salalah, Oman faced off in the region’s first intercollegiate level knowledge bowl or “General Knowledge Quiz Contest”.

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This event was held on the campus of Salalah College of Technology’s ELC Building starting at noon that Tuesday. Noor Kashoob opened the event by welcoming all  6 teams on behalf of the Head of the ELC, Saeed Mashiki, who was called away to an important College Council meeting.

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Each of the two college campus’s  sent 3 teams to this competition. Through the final round,  scores of the teams remained competitively close and almost any of the total of six teams might have become champion for the Knowledge Bowl that day.

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In all, Dhofar University was represented by 12 students from the College of Arts and Applied Sciences.  These students were all English majors.  Meanwhile, 10 students participated from Salalah College of Technology, and they represented both the college’s Business Department and students taking intensive English courses at SCT.

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Each of the six teams in the Knowledge Quiz Contest was represented by 3 or 4 student participants for each of the 6 teams.  Each team was assigned colored name tags, so that the judges could readily recognize which team was being called on by the moderators and which team had answered the questions correctly.

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In all, there were 4 rounds of competition. The following topics were involved:  Oman history, world history, famous persons & famous places in the world, English grammar & vocabulary, nationalities & flags, geography, distances, sizes, and weights. The famous persons focused on for this event included inventors, mathematicians, and scientists.

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Kevin Stoda, Wendella Francis, and Felicious Grace–all lecturers in the English department–organized the event as coordinators of the ELC’s English Language Forum. (The English Language Forum is the committee that handles many extra-curricular activities and excursions for Salalah College of Technology students.)

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The visiting sponsors or organizers from DU’s College of Applied Arts and Sciences for this day’s event were Vijay Singh Thakur, Ehsan Elahi, and Susan Crosbie.  Prior to the event, teams at both colleges were given a list of websites on the 8 topics to be reviewed in advance for this impending Quiz Bowl.

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The judges and scorekeepers for this event were Jon Chittick, Amy Cheadle and Marc Carmichael-Brown (all from the English Language Center). Marc noted of the day’s events, “The interaction and engagement of the students made the quiz a very positive experience.”

“The contest was planned thoughtfully, well-organized and interesting.”  Amy Cheadle summarized her opinion of the day’s events,  “The students were very enthusiastic and everyone had a good time.”

Jon Chittick added, “As a whole, the competition seemed very energetic.  There were many students with energy who were demonstrating a  remarkable level of confidence.”

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The winning team received trophies for each member and a certificate for each of the 4 victors.  All the SCT and DU students in the event received certificates-of-participation as well as mementos-of-the-day which were specially designed for this event.

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It is hoped that many more events like this one can be held in the future at SCT.  For example,  the English Language Forum and ELC at SCT have already approached DU and Salalah’s  neighboring College of Applied Arts to participate in ‘student debates’ this coming May 2017.

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Finally, competitions, like this knowledge-quiz-contest or “Knowledge Bowl” often “offer exciting opportunities for students to develop and exercise their scholastic abilities. Recognition, publicity, and appreciation for students and schools committed to educational excellence are also important benefits of these events.”

About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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