Purdue North Central Hosts Academic Super Bowl Invitational

Schools and students from La Porte County and beyond met Thursday in an Academic Super Bowl Invitational held on the campus of Purdue University North Central in Westville. In attendance were Elkhart Christian Academy, Lacrosse, La Porte, Michigan City Marquette, North White, and Oregon-Davis as well as home schooled students from around the La Porte County area.

Each team of participants answered 25 multiple choice questions in Math, English, Science, Fine Arts, Social Studies and an Interdisciplinary category. Scores were totaled after each subject with the winners announced and awarded ribbons or trophies after all six subjects were finished. Sweeping the all six categories and the overall trophy was the group of home schooled students known as the “Home Scholars”.

Liz Burnel, Purdue University coordinator for the academic event, spoke of the “Home Scholars” and how great it was to finally include them in the invitational a few years ago.

“It took maybe two or three years to organize the home schooled students but we’ve got them here now and they’re very excited to come and compete every year,” Burnel said.

These homeschoolers organize themselves under coach Carol Chesak and have been quite successful over the last few invitationals.

“Once we receive the outline and materials from the Indiana Association of School Principals in October, we put out the call to home schooled students in the area and begin meeting once a month to study and practice,” Chesak said.

Though the invitational is just for fun, it gives the participants a chance to display their hard work and compete against other schools in a setting very similar to the one they will see at the state competition later this year.

Some students compete in multiple subjects while others study and concentrate on one of the six categories. Lucas Magaldi, a freshmen from Elkhart Christian Academy, competed in Social Studies.

“We receive the packet of materials and start meeting every Tuesday during lunch, as well as studying on our own time,” he said.

Their hard work paid off as Elkhart was in the top three of several categories.

Students will continue to study and review in preparation for the state competition which takes place in late April.