NHS members participate in 2019 academic rodeo


Courtesy Photo

Senior NHS members Alex Czarniecki, Spencer Thompson, Carl White, Katherine Domogalla, Lauren Couch, Kaleigh Sammons, Katy Edens, Scott Silvey, Leticia Vallejo, Brandy Espinoza, Dayton McElyea, Daisy Salazar, and Jack Tyra get a quick picture before the competition.

Olivia Arp, Managing Editor

On Nov. 15, eleven senior NHS members participated in the 2019 Mindset Breaking Experience. This event is hosted by the East Texas State Fair Academic Rodeo. At

the Mindset Breaking Experience, participants are encouraged to think outside the box to complete tasks.

“I thought the task we had
to complete was interesting,” Lauren Couch said. “It forced me to think outside of the box, which is something I feel like I don’t do often.”

NHS members were introduced to the idea of the Academic Rodeo at an NHS meeting.

“Mrs. Tritt told us about it at an NHS meeting, so I thought it would be fun to try it out,” Couch said.

Members decided to get involved because of the opportunity to be with their friends and the potential scholarship that could be won.

“I thought it would be a good, fun, new experience,” Dayton McElyea said. “Also, I was told there were scholarship opportunities available through it.”

The first task of the event was to come up with phrases used in transportation, involving transportation, and with the word transportation in them.

“We were assigned to write on a blue sheet of paper words that are used in transport or that have the word transport in it,” Brandy Espinoza.

Depending on how the team did with the passive transport activity, they would receive materials.
The better the team did, the more materials they would receive that would help in the second task.

“[We had] to build a 24 inch bridge across the gap of two desks using random supplies,” Katherine Domogalla said.

With the bridge, they were to get the egg to the other side without touching it.

“If anybody touched the egg it would be considered contaminated and the time would be stopped,” Espinoza said.

The point of the event was to prompt leadership characteristics and encourage team work. The goal of course was to be successful but to also learn how to work together and be a good leader.

“I found it interesting that
the judging was less about how successful the product was and more about how well the teams worked together,” Katy Edens said.

The event allowed participants to learn many valuable lessons and skills that will benefit their future endeavors.

“It benefitted me by letting me work in a group and work on my time management skills,” Scott Silvey said.

As the teams worked together, they learned more about working together in a time crunch and how to be successful.

“Teamwork and communication is key especially when gathering ideas to get the job done,” Espinoza said.

While at the event, NHS members got to experience many other students who thought in different ways other than they did.

“It was cool to see all of the other kids, and us, using our brains to solve the unorthodox challenges,” McElyea said.

During down time and before the start of the event, NHS members were allowed to interact with
their competition and learn their personalities.

“I found all of the different types of students and their personalities interesting,” Kaleigh Sammons said.

The team that consisted of Dayton McElyea, Lauren Couch, Katy Edens, Alex Czarniecki, Carl White, and Spencer Thompson were successful in getting their egg across the bridge.

“My favorite part was watching our egg make it over our bridge when we weren’t sure it was going to,” Edens said.

The team had completed the first task successfully but still had limited resources making the bridge-building complicated.

“We didn’t have much to work with as far as materials go, so it was fun trying to solve the problem,” McElyea said.

The team consisting of Jack Tyra, Katherine Domogalla, Daisy Salazar, Leticia Vallejo, Scott Silvey, Brandy Espinoza, and Kaleigh Sammons came close to completing the task but accidentally picked up the egg.

“We completed seventeen transports, built an okay bridge, and then accidentally picked up the egg,” Silvey said.

This was the first year of Kilgore participating in the Academic Rodeo and with that comes learning. NHS sponsor Johna Tritt plans to take more groups in the future for experience and success.

“They worked well together
to create a creative solution to the problem,” Tritt said. “I will absolutely take another group next year, and I hope we can expand our participation in Academic Rodeo.”

NHS students also recently completed their Penny Wars competition. This tradition is where collections are done throughout the school day in classrooms. Students put in SILVER to subtract from other grades and pennies and dollars to add to their own grade level total.

The sophomores ended up winning bragging rights followed by the seniors, juniors, and coming in last, the freshmen.

NHS was able to give $250 to the Hearts Anonymous organization.