Students’ news smarts pay off in Las Vegas competition

Take note, kids: Read newspapers and win a trip to Sea World.

It worked for Martin Middle School students who received a trip to San Diego for winning A Test for Excellence, a competition that assesses students’ knowledge about current events.

The eight members of the winning team are scheduled to fly Thursday morning to San Diego and return that evening. The trip is sponsored by Southwest Airlines .

Five teams competed May 11 at Martin Middle School, 200 N. 28th St.

Middle schools participating included Del Webb, Fertitta, Harney and Martin. There were two teams representing Martin.

Each student began the competition by completing a 75-question multiple choice news quiz that included local, national and international events from the past eight weeks.

The highest score on the quiz was 43 correct out of 75, but that’s pretty good for this competition, according to Beverly Mason, assistant director for the Clark County School District School-Community Partnership Program.

Students prepared by reading newspapers and websites for the past eight weeks.

After they finished their tests, students were treated to dinner sponsored by Chipotle.

Each team then had to take center stage in the theater for two oral rounds, hosted by Gary Waddell of Channel 8.

Teams picked a random topic out of a bowl, had 30 seconds to discuss it among themselves and had to give a two-minute presentation.

Judges included Dave Flatt of the Public Education Foundation, Larry Moulton of Williams Financial Group and Evan Spiegel, entrepreneur and former hotel manager for the Wynn.

The Martin team was asked to discuss the recent news of the death of Osama bin Laden.

They killed it. Each student took turns talking for 10- to 20-second intervals, as all were prepared for the possibility of having to answer that question.

Martin students said they stayed after school every day to prepare for the oral competition by reading news stories and telling 15-second synopses to their classmates. They also watched the local news every night, and some kept notebooks full of information that they used to review before the competition.

The second round of the oral competition allowed for each team to talk about any recent news topic that they hadn’t discussed the previous round.

Martin talked about Gov. Brian Sandoval’s proposed budget cuts to education, with another thorough, informative presentation.

Fertitta students finished in second place, and the other Martin team finished third.

Students on the first-place Martin team were Emma Burke, Marisa Caddick, Zachary Gorman, Grace Kang, Olivia Miller, Emma Muth, Connor Safbom and Kailee Watson.

Mary Carmalt and Kenneth Lantz were the teachers who coached the kids for the past couple of months.

“What I really like about the competition,” Carmalt said, “is that I get to encourage the reading of current events — which is hard to do.”

For some of the students, it was a great way to cap off their time in middle school.

“It means a lot to us eighth-graders,” Connor said. “It’s our last year, and we haven’t won before.”

Connor and others said the competition has helped them realize the importance of reading about current events and that they all plan to continue doing so even though the competition is over.

“It’s important to know what’s going on in the world,” Connor said. “It should be incorporated in schools. I think that would greatly improve test results, everything.”

Eighth-grader Olivia Miller has competed the past three years, too.

“It means a lot because I get to work with all these really cool people,” she said. “We put in a lot of effort and ended up doing really well. When I started in sixth grade, I was really shy. Now it’s amazing just thinking about how much I’ve grown and how much it’s helped me.”

Contact View education reporter Jeff Mosier at or 224-5524.

Underground home was built as Cold War-era hideaway
The underground house at 3970 Spencer Street is one of the valley’s most unusual homes built 26 feet underground in 1978 by Girard “Jerry” B. Henderson, who, planned to survive the end of the world there.
Lip Smacking Foodie Tours takes you where the locals go
Donald Contursi talks about Lip Smacking Foodie Tours, which offers walking tours of restaurants on and off Las Vegas Boulevard with food samples and tidbits of history about the places they visit.
Bump stock manufacturers under fire
The Justice Department said last month that it had started the process to amend federal firearms regulations to clarify that federal law defines bump stocks as machine guns.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Longtime Las Vegas attorney John Momot dies at age 74
Criminal defense attorney John Momot, who represented mob figures and even played himself in the movie “Casino,” has died.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
Sir Richard Branson announces purchase of Hard Rock Hotel
Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, has acquired the Hard Rock Hotel with partners and plans to turn it into a Virgin-branded property by the end of 2019.
3 Centennial High School students killed in Calif. crash (Full)
Three Centennial High School students were killed Thursday morning in Southern California when their vehicle was struck by a suspected drunken driver while they were enjoying their spring break, according to a family member of one of the victims.
Retail Restroom Sexual Assault Suspect
Las Vegas police are asking for help finding a man they said groped a woman in a south Las Vegas Valley restroom. (Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)
Calvary Christian Learning Academy, “There was no fair warning.”
Samantha O’Brien, whose three-year-old daughter attended the Calvary Christian Learning Academy daycare, found out Monday night when her daughter’s teacher called about the school closing.
Mojave Max at Springs Preserve
File footage of Mojave Max at Springs Preserve. (Springs Preserve)
Companies bet their futures on cryptocurrency
Two Las Vegas entrepreneurs talk about finding their niche in blockchain enabled technologies and digital currency.
Solar panels reduce energy bill for CCSD
Wilbur and Theresa Faiss Middle School is one of 42 CCSD schools with solar panel installations, saving approximately $514,000 per year in energy costs.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Driver dies in single-vehicle crash
One person is dead after an early Wednesday morning crash in the northwest valley. The single-vehicle crash was called in about 1:35 a.m. on Jones Boulevard just north of Deer Springs Way, according to Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Robert Stauffer. The driver, who was the only person inside the vehicle, died at the scene.
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services
Uber Health to Improve Patient Ride-Hailing Services On Thursday, Uber launched its Uber Health platform for healthcare providers. Medical facilities, rehab centers, clinics and hospitals can book rides for patients from a centralized dashboard – no app required. According to Techcrunch, Uber Health general manager Chris Weber noted some 3.6 million Americans miss appointments due to lack access to reliable transportation. Uber’s endeavors into health care trace back to 2014, when Uber first offered on-demand flu shots in large markets across the U.S. Since then there have been similar efforts throughout the world, from diabetes and thyroid testing in India, to subsidized rides for breast cancer screening in the U.S., to many more. Last summer, over 100 healthcare organizations joined the platform during a private beta. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like