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February 11, 2015

BISMARCK, ND – Jamestown High School team #1 won the state LifeSmarts championship and will be representing North Dakota in the national competition. Kindred High School’s two teams took second and third place.

The seven high school teams competed in several elimination rounds before the top three teams advanced to the final rounds. Students answered questions in five subject areas - personal finance, health and safety, the environment, technology, and consumer rights and responsibilities – such as “Which type of plastic makes up more than 50 percent of the plastic bottle market?  (The correct answer is “High-density polyethylene (HDPE)).”

The State Champion team members are: Kelsey Becker (Captain), Andrew Breidenbach, Jessica Vandal, Dan Reimers and Sierra Schlenker. The winning team members were excited about going on to the national competition in Seattle. “Coffee capital, here we come,” said Sierra. “We worked hard for this,’ said Kelsey, adding that this year’s competition was more climatic than expected, with the final round extending to two final rounds because of the double-elimination style of the competition.

Jamestown High School team coach Marchel Krieger said the secret to the students’ success was “Practice, practice, practice. We work on old quizzes and we stay aggressive with the buzzer.” Of the team’s prospects at the national competition, Krieger promised, “We’ll give it our best shot.”

An incorrect answer in the penultimate lightning round proved to be one of the best responses of the competition. In answer to the question, “Eighty-seven percent of people feel all children should receive what?” one teen buzzed in with, “a cellphone.” (The correct answer was immunizations.)

Parrell Grossman, Director of the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division, and Question Master for the competition, was very impressed with all the participants. “Whether it was their first year in the competition or their fourth, all the students did extremely well, correctly answering questions that would have stumped even a well-informed adult,” said Grossman.

The Jamestown High School #1 team will represent North Dakota at the LifeSmarts National Championships in Seattle in April. 

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