Quincy Notre Dame and Unity High School Win WYSE Academic Challenge at JWCC

Quincy Notre Dame and Unity High School took first place in their respective divisions of the 36th Annual John Wood Community College Would Youth Science and Engineering (WYSE) Academic Challenge regional team competition, Wednesday, February 12.  Nearly 115 high school students from West Central Illinois participated in the contest. 

The challenge is a series of tests created for high school students by the WYSE program designed to present a challenge to the state’s brightest students.  The competition is sponsored by the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers and WYSE to encourage recognition of students in science, math and related areas. 

Seven high schools were represented in the contest, each sending a team of 14 students with one school also sending at-large competitors.

Division 300 Teams (enrollment of 300 or fewer students) competing were Central High School in Camp Point, Pleasant Hill High School, Southeastern High School in Augusta, Unity High School in Mendon, and Western High School in Barry.  Unity High School captured first place, Central High School earned second place, and Western High School received third place.

Division 700 Teams (enrollment of 301-700) competing were Pittsfield High School and Quincy Notre Dame High SchoolQuincy Notre Dame captured first place and Pittsfield earned second place.

Schools placing first or second in this regional contest are eligible to advance to sectional competition.  Subjects tested include biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering graphics, English, mathematics, and physics.  Test material is from senior high school freshman-level college curricula.  Tests are written by test production teams of college and university faculty and increase in level of difficulty to correspond to regional, sectional and state final levels of competition.

Andrew Happekotte, JWCC manager of career and advising services, coordinated the event.

All eligible teams and individuals will advance from the contest to sectional competition at Illinois Central College on March 4.

The students tested in the morning in the Student Activity Center, and an awards ceremony was held in JWCC’s Mary Ellen Orr Auditorium in the afternoon.  The highest scoring teams in each division received trophies.  Medallions were awarded in each division to the individuals with the top scores in a subject area. 

Western High School was the only high school competing in the at-large category. Those receiving awards in at-large individual categories were as follows:

At-large Competitors:

                    Biology: First – Evin Main; second – Eric Craigmiles; third – Hannah Koehler

                    Chemistry: First – Pressley Fee, Carlee Hively and Rachel Snyder; second – Ashlynn Schulz; third – JJ Bryant

                    English: First – Pressley Fee; second – Rachel Snyder; third – Ashlynn Schulz

Those receiving awards in varsity individual categories were as follows:

Division 300 (enrollment of 1 to 100)

Biology: First – Kayla Gronewold, Unity; second – Mandie Brooks, Unity and Ryan Platt, Central; third – Maddie Martin, Western.

Chemistry: First – Kelli Zimmerman, Central; second – Anthony Holtschlag, Central; third – Mikayla Baker, Unity and Nikolaus Schaller, Central.

Computer Science: First – Nick Webster, Unity; second – Allie Lamber, Southeastern; third – Gabe Corrigan, Unity.

Engineering Graphics: First –Nick Webster, Unity; second – Gabe Corrigan, Unity; third – Eann Diller, Central and Adam Donley, Unity.

English: First – Mikayla Baker, Unity and Maddie Martin, Western; second – Nikolaus Schaller and Kelli Zimmerman of Central; third – Mandie Brooks, Unity and Kellie Swartz, Western.

Mathematics: First – Lane Davis, Unity; second – Kayla Gronewold, Unity; third – Logan Ayers, Central.

Physics: First – Dakota Limkemann, Southeastern; second – Logan Ayers, Central; third – John Aden, Central and Lane Davis, Unity.

Division 700 (enrollment of 301 to 700)

Biology: First – Sarah Clendenny and Brian Renoud of Pittsfield; second – Marie Rush, Pittsfield; third – Nick Haxel and Connor Mahsman of QND.

                    Chemistry: First – Lucas Watson; second – Rachel Salen and Jake Vahlkamp; third – Salwa Mikhail, all of Quincy Notre Dame.

                    Computer Science: First – Kyle Boshardy; second – Eric Hammitt, both of Pittsfield.

                    Engineering Graphics: First – Ethan Manham; second – Brian Renoud, both of Pittsfield.

                    English: First – Sarah Meidl, QND; second – Rowly Filburt, Pittsfield; third – Rachel Salen, QND.

                    Mathematics: First – Jordan Altmix; second – Alexis Li; third – Salwa Mikhail, all of QND.

                    Physics: First – Tyler Dean; second – Conor Schafer; third – Alexis Li, all of QND.