Young scholars shine at the Junior Scholastic Challenge at Penn State DuBois

Competing teams, judges, and staff gather for a photo at the 25th Annual Junior Scholastic Challenge

Competing teams, judges and staff gather for a photo at the 25th Annual Junior Scholastic Challenge, held at Penn State DuBois on Feb. 22.

Credit: Penn State

DuBOIS, Pa. – The excitement in Hiller Auditorium at Penn State DuBois was palpable as the stage was set for the 25th Annual Junior Scholastic Challenge on Feb. 22. The auditorium buzzed with the energy of middle school students from grades five to eight, all ready to engage in a quick-paced battle of wits. The competition featured a mix of questions from science, literature, grammar, math, social studies and various other subjects.

Michael Clement, the master of ceremonies, welcomed students and guests, setting the tone for an evening filled with intellectual rigor and friendly competition. The event kicked off with a soul-stirring rendition of the national anthem performed by Ian Jay, a talented ninth grade saxophonist from DuBois Area High School who is a member of both the jazz band and the marching band.

Jungwoo Ryoo, chancellor and chief academic officer at Penn State DuBois, took the stage with enthusiasm, welcoming everyone to the campus. The participating schools included Brookville Area, Clearfield Area, DuBois Area, DuBois Central Catholic, and St. Marys Area.

The competition comprised four preliminary rounds, each featuring 40 mixed oral questions that tested the students' knowledge across a spectrum of subjects. As the rounds progressed, the atmosphere became more intense, with teams vying for the top place.

All teams competed in the final two rounds, placing as follows:

  1. DuBois Area
  2. St. Marys Area
  3. Brookville Area
  4. Clearfield Area
  5. DuBois Central Catholic

Individual excellence also was recognized, with Eugene Kurten, of DuBois, earning the highest score in the preliminary round, showcasing his exceptional knowledge and quick thinking. Kai Caskey, of St. Marys Area, emerged as the highest scorer, demonstrating outstanding intellectual prowess.

As the auditorium erupted in applause and cheers, the 25th Annual Junior Scholastic Challenge concluded, leaving a legacy of intellectual achievement and camaraderie among the participating schools. The event not only celebrated academic excellence but also highlighted the importance of fostering a passion for knowledge and learning among the next generation.

The event would not have been possible without the dedicated hosting by Carol Foltz of Coldwell Banker Developac Realty and the support of Sunny 106. Their commitment to education and fostering a love for learning among the region's youth was evident throughout the evening.

The community is invited to attend the 25th Annual Senior Scholastic Challenge, featuring high school students in grades nine to 12, which will take place in Hiller Auditorium at Penn State DuBois at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 7.