PALMDALE — Palmdale Learning Plaza fourth grader Lelani Vega answered all 56 questions right to win first place in the fourth annual Latino Knowledge Bowl championship round, held on April 23.
Ocotillo Elementary School fourth grader Sophia Mares placed second, while third place went to Adelyn Fellows, also a fourth grade student from Ocotillo Elementary School.
Winners of the preliminary rounds faced off across 56 questions based on the study guide provided by Jamaal Brown who publishes the “Learn Something About Us Everyday Latino Calendar.”
He is the creator and facilitator of the competition, setting up the Kahoot quizzes and choosing the questions. Some of the topics included famous inventors, politicians, celebrities, geography and country flags.
“I think it’s important that we highlight heroes and (she)roes of varied cultures and backgrounds,” Brown said. “And so I created the Knowledge Bowls with that express purpose in mind, creating a fun, interactive educational space to shine a spotlight on under-recognized people who made contributions to the world.”
Brown started 11 years ago with the Black Knowledge Bowl. Over that time, more than 1,000 students from Southern California, with most from the Antelope Valley, have participated.
Palmdale School District Superintendent Raul Maldonado and the Director of Access and Equity, Multilingual, Sonia Salcedo were on hand to welcome the students and families to the Latino Knowledge Bowl.
The competition had three preliminary rounds. The three top scoring students from these rounds were invited to the final round. Each participating school had a team of two students and two alternates. In all, 14 schools and 33 students participated in the competition.
Vega emailed that she wanted to acknowledge her teammates, Sebastian Aparicio-Palacios and Tiffany Frias. In the email, she stated without their encouragement and group practices, she would not have won.
Students who made the final round were Palmdale Learning Plaza fourth-graders Aparicio-Palacios and Lelani Vega, Ocotillo Elementary School fourth-graders Adelyn Fellows and Sophia Mares, Summerwind Elementary School fifth-grader Elizabeth Onwuka, Chaparral Elementary School fifth-grader Diego Calderon and fourth-grader Aliyah Abdalla, Golden Poppy Elementary School fifth-grader Jazzlyn Jimenez, Desert Rose Elementary School fourth-grader Amiya Chapman, Manzanita Elementary School fifth-grader Abigail Ruiz, Tamarisk Elementary School fifth-graders Ashley Zaragoz, Noah Reveles and David G. MIllen Magnet Academy seventh-grader Maximus Guillen.