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Academic Olympics is huge success

Staff reports

More than 160 students took part in the first Academic Olympics in after-school competition at Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School during the month of April.

The contests were designed by counselor Brian Mehrer, and teachers volunteered as scorekeepers and judges for what Mehrer describes as an “awesome” success.

“We’re hoping it will get bigger and bigger,” he said. “We plan on doing it every year because it was such a success.”

Two teams out of 37 were announced the champions at the end of competition last week. They included Kel Mitchell, Buddy Hewit and Jared Volk, 7th grade, and Renee Ruppel, Jessica Johnson, Kevin Trentton, Andrea Honer and Lynell Griffin, 8th grade.

The students played in a “Jeopardy!” like game setting, demonstrating their knowledge of English, math, science and history.

“There was a lot of excitement,” Mehrer said. “The kids were bubbling with enthusiasm once they started playing.”

Athletes often get lots of recognition, Mehrer said, and so the Academic Olympics points the spotlight for a time on students who have an academic bent.

“We tried to tie our questions to the curriculum we teach here,” Mehrer added, saying questions were devised by him and the teachers and were geared to 7th, 8th and 9th grade subjects. They also utilized books of questions designed specifically for these kinds of programs.

The winning teams won cash awards: First place team members each were given $50; second place, $10; and third place, $5. They also were awarded plaques featuring photos of the teams. The plaques will hang permanently at school.

The Record-Courier E-mail: rc@tahoe.com

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