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Young students, Mirabella retirees unite for quiz bowl

Event brings together generations, families

Four secondary students kneel in front of six retirement residents and one secondary student

Mirabella at ASU residents (second row from left) Bernard Kobes, Roberta Berger, Ike Schneider, Bill Gates, Bobbie Reed, Mateo Cozza (Herberger Academy Young Scholar) and David Scottjoin team up with Herberger Young Scholars Academy students (first row from left) Michael Cozza, Omkar Bharath, Jameson Parker and Katherine Tae for an intergenerational quiz bowl. Photo by Joel Farias Godinez/ASU Enterprise Partners

December 13, 2023

Residents from Mirabella at ASU and highly gifted secondary education students from Arizona State University’s West Valley campus teamed up in an intergenerational quiz bowl during the holiday season.

Mirabella, a university-based retirement community located on ASU’s Tempe campus, hosted the event, inviting five students from the Gary K. Herberger Young Scholars Academy Quiz Bowl team to participate alongside residents. The Herberger Academy provides education for highly gifted students in grades seven through 12, is funded in part by an endowment from the Herberger family and is supported by ASU.

As one of the only university-based retirement communities in the country that is located on campus, Mirabella offers many unique perks for its residents. The co-location allows for events like this to take place, connecting learners of all different stages of life around shared interests.

It has also become much more common for people of varying generations to become more engaged in on-campus experiences, with many of the residents who attended the event stating that they often spend their time auditing different university-level courses.

“Our goal is to facilitate learning experiences where younger and older learners benefit from one another’s knowledge and perspective,” said Lindsey Beagley, senior director of lifelong university engagement for Mirabella. “This quiz bowl event is a great example of how we can bring different generations together in a way that showcases this complementarity and is enjoyable for everyone.”

This event featured two teams facing off in a trivia-based game challenging participants in all areas of knowledge. There was a wide range of different themes throughout the quiz bowl, with questions surrounding popular culture, science, history and ASU-based trivia.

Roberta Berger, a Mirabella resident, participated in the event alongside her two grandsons Mike and Mateo Cozza, who are both students at Herberger Academy. Mike’s mother and Berger’s daughter, Jamie Cozza, who is a coach for the Herberger Academy Quiz Bowl team, also participated in the event.

“It is such a great opportunity to have events like this that allow Mirabella to interact closer with the ASU community alongside family,” Berger said.

Grandsons sit with their grandmother during a quiz bowl event.

Michael Cozza teams up with his grandmother Roberta Berger and brother Mateo Cozza for an intergenerational quiz bowl at Mirabella at ASU, where Berger lives. Photo by Joel Farias Godinez/ASU Enterprise Partners

“It was a great experience,” Berger’s grandson Mike said. “I actually got to write some of the questions we used in the quiz bowl, and being able to see the residents get into what we were doing was really fun.”

Questions surrounding popular video games and tabletop role-playing games were added throughout the quiz bowl, managing to stump residents while the correct answers were not lost on the participating students. Most residents seemed to thrive in historical and scientific-based trivia, with one resident in attendance correctly answering science questions instantaneously due to the knowledge she had accumulated as a chemist.

“It was cool seeing everyone slowly get excited,” said Jameson Parker, one of the Herberger Academy students. “By the end, everyone in the audience was yelling out the answers.”

Each team was comprised of four participants — two Mirabella residents and two Herberger Academy students. In total, five students attended the event, with four participating on either team and one moderating the game. After each round, the students would swap places so each had a chance to participate with different community members and a chance to act as moderator.

Mike and his Herberger Academy teammates compete regularly in quiz bowl events representing their school. The team recently qualified for two upcoming tournaments in the new year: the 2024 High School National Championship Tournament in Atlanta, Georgia, this coming May, and the 2024 Small School National Championship Tournament in Rosemont, Illinois, this coming April.

Mirabella residents have agreed to help them prepare by compiling more practice questions and hosting another quiz bowl.

Story written by Richard Canas

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