March 21, 2013: “What is the capital of Mongolia?” “Which element is number 49 on the periodic table?” These are two of the questions that hundreds of students will be answering at the 13th Annual Fishtown March Madness. The competition is one of Philadelphia’s largest academic tournaments, and features hundreds of students from Kensington, Port Richmond and Fishtown.
The Madness begins at 3:30 pm today at Shissler Recreation Center on the 1800 block of Blair Street. The students face off in an academic bowl competition structured like the NCAA Basketball Tournament. The games consist of questions and answers with varying point levels and degrees of difficulty. The winners of each game advance to later rounds. The event organizer, A.J. Thomson, is an Assistant District Attorney in the office’s East Bureau. In order to develop a better relationship and cultivate trust in the community members of the DA’s office participate in activities in the communities they represent in court. “March Madness is a celebration of education in our community,” said ADA A.J. Thomson. “We use the brackets to create the excitement, but the kids turn the basketball court into an arena for intelligence. I am impressed each year with the way they have prepared and how the make everyone proud.”
This year, Fishtown will honor its Teachers of the Year along with students who will receive the Student Citizenship Awards. All students receive prizes for participation, free refreshments and other awards throughout this fun, community-sponsored event, which emphasizes the importance of education in the Fishtown area.