By Tim Leeds
Students and people from the community gathered in the Havre High School Auditorium last night for the first round of the annual Academic Challenge.
The competition started at 7 p.m. Teams competed in rounds where the first team to correctly answer seven questions from a variety of topics won the round, with the second round to start in the auditorium at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 11.
The winner of next week's competition has a new challenge this year. They will face a team of the high school's faculty in a bonus round after the competition.
There were 32 teams registered to compete last night. Two teams couldn't make the competition and their opponents won by forfeit. Havre High math teacher Mary Wagner, an organizer and the announcer for the event, said there were 10 freshmen, 39 sophomores, 35 juniors and 44 seniors registered.
"It's nice to see lots of seniors," she said.
Wagner said the registration started about two weeks ago, with final team listings due last Friday.
The teams were paired by a blind draw, and Wagner read the questions to the two teams in each competition. Each team had a limited time to ring in to the question, and a limited time to answer once they rang in. If a team rang in before Wagner finished reading the question, she stopped reading and they had to answer with the information they had so far.
The categories included current local events, world events, famous Americans, advertising slogans, mathematics and geography. The teams never knew what questions they might be asked, from what company uses the slogan "I'm a big boy now" (Huggies Pullups,) to what country has Casablanca as it's largest city (Morocco,) to what author is recognized as spurring the 1906 meat packing regulation laws (Upton Sinclair,) who announced the last cut in interest rates (Alan Greenspan) and what is the average of all prime numbers between 60 and 70 (64.)
The event is popular at the high school, and brings a large crowd to the auditorium every year, as it did last night. Wagner said they have been doing this local Academic Challenge for about eight years now.