VHS earns first in Knowledge Open Thousands of students in 49 states and 20 countries competed April 21 in the 32nd Knowledge Master Open academic competition.
Students at over 3000 schools faced their computers and 200 tough questions to vie for top scores based on the accuracy and speed of their answers.
A team of 25 Vermillion High School students scored 1,346 of a possible 2,000 points earning first place of 17 South Dakota teams. Spearfish placed second with 1,320. The South Dakota mean score was 1,017. Nationally, the VHS team earned 280th place out of 1,079 participating teams.
Questions cover all academic areas and challenge one to think. Sample questions: Charles and Frank Duryea were pioneers in the same emerging industry as A) Gail Borden, B) Edwin Drake, C) Ransom Olds, D) Orville Wright, E) Guglielmo Marconi. Answer (C) The note "D" on the diatonic scale has a frequency of 288 cycles per second. Its frequency one octave higher is A) 384 cps, B) 480 cps, C) 576 cps, D) 682 cps, or E) cps. Answer (C)
Academic coach Mary Lea Hennies described the event as "steamy," both from the standpoints of intense competition to analyze the questions and cramped quarters.
"It is a pleasure to observe the students working together and respecting the abilities and opinions of the others," she said.
The team earned a 91 percent and a 93 percent on application and analysis questions which should serve them well in future learning.
Students on the team include: Christina Well, Jon Rusch, Jon Hoadley, Chris Hayes, Lyz Baranowski, Mark Rusch, Greg Reinhart, Landon Morse, Cory Novak, Wes Christensen, David Jensen, James Clark, Dariel Weaver, Justine Reimnitz, Mark Vickrey, Todd Stephens, Tim Goodman, Anders Fremstad and Dan Ring.
Graduating seniors on the team are: Zeb Lang, Vani Ramakrishnan, John Ring, Mike Vaillancourt, Kendra Korte and Mike Paulson.
The Knowledge Master Open is designed to stimulate enthusiasm for learning and recognition for academic accomplishment. The contest runs on classroom computers to allow all students the opportunity to compete in a large academic event without the expense of traveling to a central site.
Results of the contest are tabulated into overall, state and enrollment-size rankings by Academic Hallmarks, a Colorado publishing firm that hosts the event.