Tantasqua team to fight for ‘High School Quiz Show’ wild card spot

Local students to appear in WGBH show’s season premiere

Photo credit: ©2019 WGBH/Elizabeth Friar

STURBRIDGE — Local high school students will soon be squaring off with peers in a test of brainpower, and it will all be filmed for television.

Tantasqua Regional High School will be sending a team to take part in a “Wild Card match” for WGBH’s High School Quiz Show. The episode will be taped in January and be aired on February 8 at 6 p.m.

High School Quiz Show has announced the 17 schools from across Massachusetts that will compete on the 11th season of the public television academic tournament. Hosted by Boston media personality Billy Costa, the broadcast competition tests students’ knowledge in math, science, civics, literature, history, current events and more.

Representing cities and towns throughout the Commonwealth, fourteen of the schools qualified based on their scores on a written quiz at the Super Sunday qualifying event held last month at WGBH’s studios. The 15th school qualified by outscoring seven other schools at High School Quiz Show: Extra Credit, a tournament hosted at An Unlikely Story, the Plainville bookstore owned by Jeff Kinney, author of “Diary of a Wimpy Kid.” A new wildcard approach will fill the 16th and final spot on the broadcast.

“As we begin our second decade, High School Quiz Show coaches and team members are becoming increasingly sophisticated with their preparation and strategy, taking everything from player aptitude and commitment to buzzer and gameplay strategy into consideration,” said executive producer Hillary Wells. “We’re thrilled that the series is fueling a growing network of school-sponsored academic tournaments, contributing to Massachusetts’ success in academic competitions at the national level.”

Among the top 15 schools is last year’s defending champion, Boston Latin School. And three schools are competing for the first time — Salem Academy Charter School, Taunton High School and Waltham High School.

The schools guaranteed a chance to compete for the state championship are Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, Andover High School, Arlington High School, Belmont High School, Boston Latin School, Brookline High School, Lexington High School, Mansfield High School, Salem Academy Charter School, South High Community School, Taunton High School, Waltham High School, Wellesley High School, and Whitman-Hanson Regional High School.

The Wild Card match will feature newcomers Tantasqua Regional High School taking on Weston High School. The wild card involves the top two highest scoring teams outside of the top 14 from Super Sunday that have not participated in the High School Quiz Show broadcast competition, or have not been on the show in the past five years. Weston High School last appeared in Season 3. The winner of their match, which will air on the February 1 season premiere, determines the final spot in the tournament bracket.

High School Quiz Show begins taping at WGBH in January in front of a studio audience. It will premiere Saturday, February 1 at 6 p.m. on WGBH 2.  Episodes can also be streamed at WGBH.org and on YouTube.  

High School Quiz Show is endorsed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Massachusetts PTA. Questions on the show are aligned with the Massachusetts high school curriculum standards in subjects that include literature, history, civics, science and math, as well as current events, and general knowledge. Major funding for High School Quiz Show is provided by Safety Insurance. Additional funding is provided by the Museum of Science, Massachusetts Teachers Association, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Comcast NBC Universal, Harvard Summer School Programs for High School Students and Subaru of New England.


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