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Area high school students test brainpower in friendly competition

High school scholars say it's about time they get to show off their skills in this kind of competition.

ARCHBALD, Pa. — Students from 20 area school districts descended on the Northeast Intermediate Unit office in Archbald for the 2022 Regional Academic Challenge.

"We were not able to host the event last year, so we're back this year, and we hosted it here at our building. We've never done that. We're happy to have all the students with us," said Eliza Vagni from NEIU 19.

School teams face off in a battle of wits.

"They are asked a series of questions, sometimes very difficult questions, in various categories. With every correct answer, they win points. Points are accumulated throughout the day in two separate matches," explained NEIU 19's Michael Motsko.

It sounds intense, but it's not all serious.

"There was one about Doritos. I answered it like, extremely quickly. I got a laugh out of everybody because I shouldn't have answered it that fast," said Abington Heights student Luke Morgan.

The students say the key to a good competition is having a well-rounded team that can tackle any topic.

"I'm the team captain. They usually rely on me for math and science. Everybody has their own little job on our team. We have a sports guy, who is really good with sports, someone's better at geography and history. We have a literature person, and I'm the math and science guy," said Evan Pierce from Western Wayne High School. "If everyone is specialized, that's what we find is best."

The intermediate unit helps train area teachers. Organizers say they enjoy this chance to show off our area's smartest students, who have a lot of fun flexing their brains.

"It's a little nerve-wracking, but honestly, everyone's in the same situation with the nerves. At the end of the day, you're not going to look stupid if you have a wrong answer, you're just trying your best," said Meghan Kiernan from Susquehanna Community High School.

Wallenpaupack Area High School took first place. They'll move on to the state competition in Harrisburg later this month.

Check out WNEP’s YouTube channel.

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