Club Activities During the Pandemic: Science Bowl

Sumukh Murthy is the co-president of IHS Science Bowl

Sumukh Murthy

Sumukh Murthy is the co-president of IHS Science Bowl

Imagine going to a place and touching the buzzer and pressing it. What a concept. It’s hard to describe, but just the whole concept of going to an in-person event, the whole atmosphere of going to a tournament and chilling there with friends, going into a high-stakes competition against other schools who are right there in front of you with questions being read out in real time is different. I feel like it’s better, that you can’t really replicate it online. The atmosphere is greatly superior. 

There’s been minimal disruption because of COVID. Since Science Bowl is a buzzer competition in which people use buzzers and whoever buzzes first gets to answer. There are online buzzer systems that can basically replicate the real thing. The one we use is called Copa which mimics the regular buzzer. In terms of answering the questions, there’s almost no disruption, it’s the same concept. We just do it over zoom while reading the questions and you just buzz on Copa and answer on Zoom.

Most members would prefer meeting in real life because it’s more fun to talk and get together in person than to do it over zoom when everyone has their mics muted. Nevertheless, I think we’re doing fine but it would be better if we had it in person.

Regionals is the competition we’re going to be building up to this year. It’s the big competition at the end of the year that is probably going to be online. There’s also the Sea Lion Bowl, which is only for ocean science or marine science and there’s an Invitational hosted by MIT which is coming up mid-November and we’re on the waitlist for that.

We can go to more tournaments online, which is a big benefit. Other than that, I don’t see any benefits online. Mainly disadvantages, like less interaction and it’s just less fun of an experience as it also takes longer to do things because people’s mics cut each other out. Breakout rooms are a big advantage because if you want to have multiple games going on at the same time and same room while multiple moderators are reading at the same time, there is a lot of chaos. But with breakout rooms, that problem is completely solved.