German students take field trip to UConn, win competition in German language


Photo courtesy of German teacher Liubov Ulianova.

Staples German students compete in the quiz bowl at UConn on Nov. 14.

German students at Staples took a field trip to the UConn Storrs campus to learn about German culture on Nov. 14. Staples placed first in the Quiz Bowl, a competition in that tested students’ knowledge about the German language and influence. 

Thirty-seven students, in classes German 1 through AP German, attended the field trip. The trip was planned last April by Early College Education (ECE) German instructors who work at UConn Stores and the German Department at Staples

Staples’ students were organized into groups with students from other schools and had German lessons with Storrs professors. They also learned about the importance of learning German at whole.

Philip De Munk ’20, one of the attendees, enjoyed learning about the opportunities offered at UConn and other schools regarding different majors and opportunities focused around the German language.

“I think it’s important to be exposed to opportunities like these, especially language-based ones since they help you broaden your knowledge about other cultures”

— Philip De Munk ’20

I think it’s important to be exposed to opportunities like these, especially language-based ones since they help you broaden your knowledge about other cultures,” De Munk said. “I feel that learning a second language and exploring a foreign culture is extremely important and is one of the reasons why I continue to improve my German language skills.”

Linnea Jagenburg ’21 felt fortunate to go on the trip and listen to the opportunities that follow taking German in high school.

“I believe that the Early College Experience field trip is important for students to be exposed to because it is eye-opening to hear about the different paths and doors that are open to you when you study a language,” Jagenburg said. “While many students are taking a language course because it is required, a field trip like this exposes students of all levels to jobs and opportunities that are available to you if you were to choose a language major. This trip was a reminder that being bilingual makes you stand out from the other millions of Americans who can only speak English and that when high school is over, it should not be something that you give up on.”

At the end of the day, four Staples students participated in the Quiz Bowl, where they competed against four other students from a different school. All questions were posed in German and centered around German culture and geography. Sixty to 80 questions were answered over the course of 40 minutes in order to secure Staples’ winning spot.

German teacher and ECE instructor Liubov Ulianova believed their victory was indicative of her students’ commitment to the German language.

“It was a really high level of competition because of the difficulty level and since students only take German for four years maximum,” Ulianova said. “It’s a very big accomplishment for us. It took us only three and a half years at Staples to be able to compete at a college level.”

De Munk attributes Staples’ success to his teacher and his team’s compatibility.

“I felt great about winning the Quiz Bowl because it showed the strength of our German Language program and our German teacher, Frau Ulianova,” De Munk said. “Winning the Quiz Bowl showed that the material we learn in German class is relevant to today and helps us understand the culture behind Germany and other German-speaking countries. As a team, we worked very well together to come out on top with the win, and I hope this encourages more students to take German and explore their current world language further.”