, Muskogee, OK


May 4, 2010

Muskogee students engage in battle of wits


Cherokee Elementary student Sabryant Coxum knew what it took to help his teammates gain an advantage over Creek Elementary students.

He knew a line segment is a part of a line between two points.

Gifted and talented students from Muskogee elementary and magnet schools had to know many things to win Muskogee Public Schools’ GT Academic Bowl, held Tuesday at Ben Franklin Science Academy. Teachers who put on the bowl said this is the first year Muskogee elementary and magnet schools have competed in an academic bowl and hope there will be more competitions in years to come.

Preston Rogers, who teaches gifted and talented at Grant Foreman Elementary School, said the bowl provided a way for fifth- and sixth-grade students to compete outside the realm of athletics.

Two teams from Sadler Arts Academy and one team each from Grant Foreman Elementary and Creek Elementary won the competition, which involved 17 teams, Rogers said. Smaller schools like Cherokee and Harris Jobe had one team while larger schools such as Creek, Grant Foreman, Ben Franklin Science Academy and Sadler Arts Academy had two. The four top teams will compete in “finals” at the Board of Education Service and Technology Center later this month, he said.

Rogers said the bowl was a “friendly competition among students.”

“It was also a way for them to get together and get to know kids at different schools,” he said.

Participants played a variation of the TV game show, Jeopardy, by selecting questions from different categories, then buzzing in with the answer with hand-held or desktop buttons. Unlike the game show, they did not have to answer with a question and they did not have “think music.”

Taitierra Wilson of Cherokee said she enjoyed using the buzzer and learning new things about different subjects.

Sabryant said he especially enjoyed the math questions, but also was good at recognizing root words.

“We’re really good at math, but it wasn’t on the list of questions,” said Creek Elementary contestant Olivia Ericson.

When reminded that one of the categories involved geometry, Olivia said her team was good at that as well.

 “We’re good at geometry and we’re good at ancient Greece,” Creek teammate Madison Durossette said.

Rogers said questions posed during the competition were relevant to what the students were learning in class. He said they were aligned with the state curriculum or P.A.S.S. Objectives.

Irving Elementary gifted and talented teacher Melissa Agee said GT programs across the district wanted to have an academic competition this year.

“The teachers facilitated the games,” she said. “We’d like to include other districts in coming years.”

Agee said her students practiced during the after-school program.

“It teaches my kids to be more outgoing and to socialize with other students,” she said.

Top GT Bowl teams

Two teams from Sadler Arts Academy, one team from Grant Foreman Elementary, one team from Creek Elementary.


Reach Cathy Spaulding at 684-2928 or

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