GSSM Qualifies for Five National Championships at the National History Bee and Bowl

February 4, 2020

On Saturday, February 1st, The South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics (GSSM) participated in the 2020 South Carolina History Bee and Bowl State Championships.

Per, “The National History Bee and Bowl were founded in 2010 by David Madden, who serves as Executive Director. While in high school, David participated in many all-subject quiz bowl tournaments, which served as a gateway to explore many new fields of study and to reinforce what he had learned in his classes in school. In 2005, David then put much of what he had learned while studying for quiz bowl to further use by appearing on the television quiz show Jeopardy!, where his streak of 19 wins remains the fourth-longest in the show’s history. These experiences led him then to organize a history quiz tournament known as the Tri-State History Bowl at his alma mater of Ridgewood High School in Ridgewood, NJ on May 22nd, 2010. David then put his plans to become a history teacher on hold, and officially established The National History Bee and Bowl. Since then, NHBB has grown into International Academic Competitions, an entire network of competitions across all academic subjects, which operates in over 30 countries around the world. Within the USA, IAC has expanded to encompass tournaments in over 20 countries (through our International division, or IHBB), an elementary and middle school division, the U.S. Geography Championships, the U.S. History Bee, the National Political Science Bee, the National Science Bee, among other competitions.”

During the championship this past Saturday, GSSM qualified two teams for the National History Bowl in Washington, DC. In the preliminary rounds, GSSM A went 4-1 and earned the #3 seed while GSSM B went 4-0 and won the #2 seed. Both of GSSM’s teams faced off in one semifinal that was tightly contested. With only two questions remaining, both teams were tied. GSSM A correctly answered the last two questions to advance to the final with a 200 to 160 victory over GSSM B. In the final match, GSSM A avenged an earlier loss by defeating D.W. Daniel A, 170 to 60, to become the History Bowl State Champions!

The team members for GSSM A consisted of Gavin Taylor, Rajat Sethi, Jose Montes, and David Bullock. The team members for GSSM B consisted of Rohit Swain, James Dockery, Vansh Nagpal, and LeeAnn Parker.

In the History Bee competition, three Govies advanced to the Bee finals. Each of them finished in the top four. Rajat Sethi finished in 4th place, Gavin Taylor finished in 2nd place, and Rohit Swain won the State Championship. All three of them qualified for the National History Bee in Washington, DC.

National Qualifying Exams in other competitions were given as well. GSSM had several individuals advance to the national level. The automatic qualifiers were the following:

National Science Bee: Rajat Sethi (1st), James Dockery (3rd), Ananya Hota (4th)

National Political Science Bee: Ethan Fulton (1st), Rohit Swain (3rd) 

U.S. History Bee: Sutton Vanderbloemen (2nd), Rajat Sethi (4th)

U.S. Geography Championship and International Geography Bee: Gavin Taylor (2nd)

Altogether, 11 different Govies qualified for nationals, and four of them qualified in multiple events. This marks the second consecutive year that the GSSM Academic team has qualified for five different team national championships. However, this year is the first time that GSSM has ever qualified two teams to each one of those five national championships (HSNCT, NSC, SSNCT, NAC, and NHBB).

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