Academic Quiz Bowl Frugal Alternatives

Let’s face it, teachers are competitive people and as such, we want our students to do their best when competing in academic quiz bowls.


But who has a budget that will allow for a $400 buzzer system like the Geosafari Quiz Bowl?


Part of training kids to be part of an academic quiz bowl game is helping them with the buzzers. We have found that no matter how good a kid is at memorizing the answers, if they can’t manipulate the buzzer they are dead in the water.


Unfortunately, the teachers at my school do not have one of those high-priced, professional buzzers that are used at the county and regional level of competition.


So we improvise…


The most basic, yet I think beautifully frugal, idea is to have the kids hold pens that click open. Find some that make a big “click.”  Last year I had a kid whose mom worked in a doctors office donate a bunch of them (all sounded the same) that were pens given to them as a marketing ploy of some medical product.


The pens give the kids the experience of connecting their answer to the buzzer. Kind of like Pavlov’s dog….If they can’t do that, they won’t get to answer the question so it’s imperative they know how to do that.


The next solution, Eggspert, allows up to six players and lets you set the answer time from 5-30 seconds. It combines light and sound.  It sells at the academic superstore for around $40.


The last cheap solution I have is is to buy the hardware only for the old “Quizzard” game on ebay. These sell for between $20 and $30. Beats the price in the educational catalogs anyway.


Team academic bowls are a great way to motivate kids (and tightwad teachers.) Let me know in the comments if you found these helpful or have another solution!



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