By Cole Komma and Olivia Gard
Ames247 Staff Writers
Groups of students gathered from across campus, holding brooms, to face off for the sake of earning team points. One team, largely consisting of materials engineer majors, braved the event in jean shorts. The weather was = cold for their chosen team attire, said Alexandra Bruce, senior in materials engineering, but it was worth it.
This is Kaleidoquiz, a 26-hour-long trivia extravaganza, and it begins at 4 p.m. Friday and continues until 6 p.m. Saturday.
In the event put on by KURE radio station, there is only one winner, but the participating teams will use smarts, skill and luck to compete for the winning title.
Every six minutes a question is asked on the air, and teams listen intently to their radio and suddenly scramble to their computers to find the answer to the newest trivia question. But there is more to Kaleidoquiz than questions; the event also includes scavenger hunts, physical and mental challenges and a variety of other activities.
“It’s been going on for 46 years now,” said TJ Ward, an employee at KURE. “The core of Kaleidoquiz is questions right over the air [and] every six minutes, teams call in answers. Alongside that, we have events, whether they be physical challenges, creative challenges [and] intellectual challenges, and there are all these things happening within a 26-hour time period.”
Ward said the KURE team gets ideas for questions from “as many places as possible” in order to create challenging and diverse competition. The final question sets are written months ahead of time. They are generally cryptic and difficult, resembling riddles more than traditional trivia.
One of the most popular questions has been the “traveling question,” which is where students must drive to a certain location around the Midwest to complete a challenge.
“The easiest way that I’ve found to describe that to people is the college movie ‘Roadtrip,’” Ward said. “Where you’re going to a destination without any reason to do so.”
Two years ago, teams made the drive to Minneapolis to visit locations mentioned in the lyrics of a song by Minneapolis locals The Hold Steady.
But despite all the preparation and elaborate questions, there have been problems in the past. Last year, Ward planned to hold a traditional, live trivia session last year, but the event fell through when teams were accidentally instructed to go to the wrong room. Because Kaleidoquiz tasks usually encourage the teams to think out of the box, however, some teams thought the mistake was part of the challenge.
“The teams were sitting in this room and they actually thought the fact they were sitting in this room by themselves without any guidance was the event,” Ward said.
But despite some setbacks, both new and veteran teams continue to join into the competition each year.
Tom Mlynarczyk, junior in mechanical engineering and member of the Lorch-Russell team, said his experience last year was “weird” but enjoyable and surprisingly successful for his team. On the other hand, newcomer Nathan Irmiter, sophomore in geology, is excited to participate in his first year of KQ and said it will be an “awesome way to spend a weekend.”
“In one way, it is an event unlike any other that people experience. It is, in some ways, your quintessential college experience of doing absolutely crazy things you’re not going to do at any other time in your life,” Ward said “It’s spontaneous, it’s crazy, it’s silly and at the same time unique.”