A group of NJROTC cadets, broken down into two teams of five contestants each, competed in an Area 7 Academic Competition called the “Brain Brawl” on Saturday, September 24, at Gaither High in Tampa. There were 24 schools in attendance, including the defending Brain Brawl national champion from Boca Raton High School.
Team 1, which was comprised of Maya Antes ‘17, Richard Dunleavy ‘17, Kyndal Olander ‘17, and Shawn Simon ‘17, with Patrick Hales ‘17 serving as an alternate, finished in 15th place out of 48 teams. Team 2, which was comprised of Chris Northup 16, Dean Wayment-Steele ‘17, Joy Wang ‘17, and Camille Walker ‘17, with Stephanie Bailey ‘18 serving as an alternate, advanced to the second round and finished in 12th place.
All of the participants earned academic medals.
“This was a great opportunity for the cadets to participate in something they’ve never done before,” said senior naval science instructor CDR Rick Schock. “They do these types of competitions throughout the country at many different high schools so this is a great chance for our kids to get out there and interact with students of a similar caliber as them.”
Configured similar to the televised game show, Jeopardy, the competition tested cadets’ knowledge in different disciplines including naval science, mathematics, history, geography, geology, sports, current events, chemistry, and general science. The competition itself required quick thinking and reflexes under pressure, as the cadets were required to buzz in ahead of the other team with the correct answer.
“We definitely want to compete in more and more of these academic challenges,” said Chris Northup, whose team battled against the eventual winning team from Boca Raton. “Going up against Boca definitely gave us an idea of what we want to strive for.”
CDR Schock said he anticipates having the Farragut academic team compete in another event in the fall and one in the spring.