PENNS MANOR: Students compete in academic games
April 12, 2013 10:50 AM

KENWOOD — The students of Penns Manor Area High School have had a busy few weeks preparing for and participating in academic games.

This year 27 students went to the California University of Pennsylvania on March 13 with adviser George Caroff for the Science Olympiad competition. Teams from grades 7-12 competed in both Division B and Division C events. This year, Kevin Clark and Michael Hildebrand placed third in Division B building event Mousetrap Vehicle. Overall though a busy day, the students enjoyed themselves.

Next students prepared for the Heritage conference events, competing against schools such as Purchase Line, Northern Cambria, Ligonier Valley, Marion Center, United, Blairsville, Saltsburg and Homer-Center.

Starting the week off, Caroff took four students — all sporting Batman T-shirts — to Ligonier Valley High School for the Heritage Science Competition. Juniors Devin McClain, Devon Bratton and Ethan Marshall, as well as freshman Beck Branton went on April 3.

The event consisted of a quiz bowl style round and a lab. In review of the day’s events Devon Bratton said, “Things didn’t go as well as we had hoped, but we will strive to do our absolute best next year.”

Also on April 3, Erika Talmadge took Adam Tomayko, Amber Wissinger, Braden Laverick, and Meagan Hilty to Marion Center for the Heritage Math Competition.

Thursday was also action packed, when the Current Events team made entirely of seniors this year traveled to Purchase Line. Mr. D Fulton took a team composed of Nikki Decker, Courtney Kuzemchak, Garrett Joiner and Ryan Gromely to compete in four categories of events. The team had to take a written test, participate in a facial recognition round, complete a group activity of writing a newsletter, and compete in a Power Point speed round. Overall the students had a great day, and wrote a memorable newsletter.

Impromptu Speech also took place on April 4, hosted at Penns Manor, by team adviser Erica Lauer. The team consisted of five students — four competitors and one alternate. Competing this year was senior Alex Yamrick, junior Claire Kirsch, sophomore Abby Spiaggi and freshman Alex Berkavich. Kendra Smith, a sophomore, was the alternate this year.

The competitors were given five minutes to review three topics and prepare a speech. This year the topics included a current event about the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School; famous person topic about our president Barack Obama; and quotes, including one by Winston Churchill and one by Abigail Adams.

Of all the topics, the most popular among competitors was the current event. After preparing their speech, students took the stage to present. There was no minimum time; however there was a maximum of three minutes, with a grace period of 30 seconds. This year the team placed third out of nine, making it a truly successful day.

Wrapping the week up was the Bake Off team’s competition on April 5 at Northern Cambria. Adviser Beth Cessna took senior Parker Stupic and juniors Sarah DaBella, Tara Miller, Lucas Kowalski and Mary Roach, with their team shirts showing the phrase “May the forks be with you.” The students were more than ready for the day’s events.

The competition consisted of an “Iron Chef” style cooking, were teams are given an allotted time to create, prepare and present a meal. Throughout the entire process, judges are scoring the teams on their methods, whether they use the correct utensils, and the neatness of their kitchen area.

At the end of the day, the students placed fourth overall, to which Mary Roach said, “I feel we did well, but we’ll be ready for next year!”

All of the students had a wonderful time with their academic events and anticipate next year’s competitions.

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