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Elementary duel tests knowledge for charity

By Taylor Kaspar
posted April 20, 2011

Huddled in helpless surrender at the asking of elementary-level questions, 14 teams and numerous fifth grade students participated in the annual Is Oshkosh Smarter than a Fifth Grader? event. A number of West students participated in the April 9 games with proceeds benefiting the Oshkosh United Way sector.

“I got involved in this event through Rotary,” said senior Vish Tuchscherer. “The game was like the TV show with a twist. We got to use four lifelines including an ‘ask the audience’ option.”

Upon signing on to the event, Tuchscherer feared a high-pressure environment with a potential for humiliation.

“Coming into this event I actually thought it was going to be exactly like the show,” he said. “But instead of having to stand alone for separate categories, the team format made the event a lot less stressful.”

Senior Jake Linnabary shared similar minor fears leading up to the day, but anticipated it nonetheless.

“We were signed up through O’Neil [National Honor Society] so I was eager to participate,” he said. “But I was also a little nervous.”

The team-based organization helped distinguish various teams from the community, making the synergy of different groups distinguishable.

“There were 14 teams and each team consisted of four players,” said Linnabary. “Also, each team had their organization as their team name, so it was neat to see how many different people were involved.”

The swift organization of the day helped the event run flawlessly.

“It was extremely organized and the host did a great job,” said Linnabary.

Surprised to see the level of community involvement, junior Caytlen Mingus joined through her own involvement in Rotary.

“I was just filling in for a friend, but thought it was only going to be kids from different schools participating,” she said. “Instead it was people from the community.”

The wide variety of questions made for a diverse mixture, according to Linnabary.

“Ranging from what seemed like preschool knowledge, there were several hard questions to which I had no idea to,” he said. “The questions mainly consisted of conceptual math, history, and geography questions.”

Stumped by numerous questions, participants found difficulty in the local history-based trivia.

“The topic that surprised me the most was questions on the history of Oshkosh,” said Tuchscherer. “I haven’t had to remember that stuff for a while and to be asked what pictures of statues around Oshkosh meant or other important landmarks of Oshkosh meant was definitely hard.”

The final round of the event was a definite test of cranial capacities, according to Tuchscherer.

“In the final round, each group of four got one question, and didn’t get to use their lifelines,” he said. “It was a lot more difficult because of the rigor of the questions.”

According to Mingus, simply being a part of the event was enjoyable, considering the cause.

“Just being there was fun,” she said. “I thought it was a good cause, and I was glad to do it. The specific program is helping children with education. They get the books so that the parents can help them read.”

Tuchscherer agreed, noting that it was considerably rewarding to help out an event that assists others in the community.

“I think that the United Way is definitely a worthy cause,” he said. “This organization puts on events in order to benefit the community. By contributing, we are able to help many in a lot of ways. I would definitely consider doing the event again.”


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