School smarts highlighted on ‘It’s Academic’

Some of the region's brightest minds match wits every Saturday on "It's Academic," now in its 56th year on TV. See photos of students who are competing this year.

Editor’s note: WTOP will periodically update this story with winners and additional photos.

WASHINGTON —  A longtime area tradition is underway on Saturdays, and it’s one that shows off the smarts of area high school students.

“These kids are so smart, it’s humbling,” said WTOP’s Hillary Howard, who has hosted the Washington edition of “It’s Academic” since 2011.

The world’s longest-running TV quiz show that kicked off its 56th season Oct. 8 pits students from three schools against each other for the bragging rights of who knows the most.

If you want to see if you can match wits with some of the region’s brightest students, tune in at 10:30 a.m. Saturdays on NBC Washington.

Click through the gallery above to see photos of the students from Washington-area schools who are competing each week.

Longtime followers of the show will tell you that the competition can be intense to watch.

“The intensity depends on the coach and the personal temperament of the kids. There are some kids I say hello to, and I think they just want me to go away. Others are  enormously engaging,” said Howard.

“All of them are passionate about knowledge and learning. These are young adults who will be lifetime learners.”

The full schedule of schools competing on “It’s Academic” is posted on the show’s website.

The show also has a Baltimore counterpart and a central Virginia show.

Giant Food, which has been funding the show for 50 years, continues its sponsorship.  Over the years, the grocery chain has given more than $3 million in scholarship funds to participating schools.

The Montgomery County Council recently recognized Giant’s anniversary with a proclamation.

Watch the video:

Oct. 8 – Richard Montgomery High School
Oct. 15 – Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology
Oct. 22 – McLean High School
Oct. 29 – Westfield High School
Nov. 5 – St. John’s College High School
Nov. 12. – Churchill High School
Nov. 19 – Oakton High School
Nov. 26 – Blake High School
Dec. 3 – Sherwood High School
Dec. 10 – St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes
Dec. 17 – Whitman High School
Dec. 24 – Loudoun County High School
Dec. 31 – Montgomery Blair High School
Jan. 7 – National Cathedral School
Jan. 14 –  St. Anselm’s
Jan. 21 – Chantilly High School
Jan. 28 – Einstein
Feb. 4 – Wootton
Feb. 11 – Quince Orchard
Feb. 18 – Washington Latin Charter
Feb. 25 – Gaithersburg
March 4 – Georgetown Day
March 11 – St. Albans
March 18 – George Marshall
March 25 – Rockville
April 1 – Langley
April 8 – La Plata
April 15 – Jefferson
April 22 – Blake High School and Churchill High School
April 29 – Whitman
May 6 – Montgomery Blair
May 13 – Wootton and Quince Orchard
May 20 – Georgetown Day
May 27 – Langley High School
June 3 – Blake
June 17 – Montgomery Blair
June 24 (Superbowl/Intercity Final) – Montgomery Blair


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