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801-452-4600  |  165 W. 5100 S., Washington Terrace, UT 84405

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2015 - 2016   T. H. Bell National Academic League Team

T.H. Bell NAL team Played in the National Championship!

3/19/2016 - T. H. Bell Jr. High has been a hubbub of excitement in the last few days as the National Academic Team (NAL) marched on to the finals this year in competition.  The match was held via live video feed.  The National Academic League® National Tournament is the scholastic counterpart to March Madness which is a single round elimination tournament. This game was the last in a tournament of a dozen teams that are picked from more than 200 schools nationwide. The game was between T.H. Bell Jr. High and Hanes Magnet School, who were stationed in their respective hometowns.  The teams competed watching each other and answering questions using real time video feed through the Internet. Players have to buzz in electronically before the other team on these questions. 


The 1st question of the game was to state the formula for Kinetic Energy (KE = 0.5 • m • v2)  which both teams could not answer and ended 1 and 1/2 hours later with “Who was the Founder of the American Red Cross in the early 19th century" (Clara Barton) which the Bell team answered correctly to end the game.  With the end of that question, the season ended; and Bell found itself down to repeat champion, Hanes Magnet School from Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  The final score was Hanes Magnet school, 50 and T.H. Bell 43. The four quarters of play emphasized different skills such as quick recall, teamwork, and problem solving.  The National Championship trophy was named the Terrel H. Bell Award for Academic Excellence – which happens to be the same T.H. Bell that our school in Washington Terrace was named for. 


Dr. Bell was the Superintendent of schools in the Weber District, became the State Superintendent of Education in the state of Utah, and then went on to be the Head of the Department of Education in President Regan’s cabinet.  He is highly noted for creating the National Commission on Excellence in Education  which resulted in the report “A Nation at Risk. ”  This report was a call for reforming public education and was released in 1983.  One small legacy of all this was the founding of the NAL.   Dr. Terrel Bell Co-founded this competition in which his namesake school and the Weber school district has participated in since 1992.  This brings the result of the competition full circle.  This is the 1st year that the team from T.H. Bell has made it all the way to the National Finals.  Congratulations to the coaches and the team from Bell for making it to the nationals.

2015 -2016 NAL Team

Bell students during the one-on-one questioning toward the end of the National Championship game.


Coaches Claudette Nielsen and Karen Roylance are tremendously proud of their team’s dedication to preparation and attention to strategy  during the games. Our team thanks our leaders at the district, our school administrators, and our most ardent supporters – our parents. We are thrilled to be able to participate in such a challenging and fun academic sport.

Now you try a sample NAL Question:  Identify the country where you would find an ancient Easter tradition called "Smingus-Dyngus"   :-)

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