PHS students advance to state economics challenge

The Princeton High School economics challenge team that is advancing to state. In back row are Kenny Cowles, Nate Hoffer and Isaiah Mayerchak. In front are Courtney Stith and Sophie Wagman.

The Princeton High School economics challenge team that is advancing to state. In back row are Kenny Cowles, Nate Hoffer and Isaiah Mayerchak. In front are Courtney Stith and Sophie Wagman.

Princeton High School students Nate Hoffer, Isaiah Mayerchak, Kenny Cowles, Courtney Stith and Sophie Wagman are advancing to a state competition April 8 that tests a person’s knowledge of economics.

Hoffer, Mayerchak and Cowles are seniors and Stith and Wagman are juniors.

The team advanced after its performance at the Heartland Economics Challenge at St. Cloud State University on March 22, where PHS also had two other teams.

About a dozen high schools had students in the competition. The contest had two divisions – an advanced placement (AP) or college division that posed the more difficult questions, and the high school division that was broken into small-school and large-school tiers.

The top two AP teams at the meet advanced to state and the PHS AP team placed second. Mayerchak came in second individually and Hoffer, third. Mayerchak received a $75 prize and medal and Hoffer receiving $50 and a medal.

The other AP team from PHS included Brandon Swanson, Tony Droogsma, Sam Glauvitz, Jack Sinkel and Kris Klein.

Only one team was allowed to advance from the high school divisions, and the team in the large-school part of that division from PHS included Dalton Mattson, Andrew Wesloh, Katie Gallentine and Bailey Thorson. It placed second among the large high schools in its division, falling shy of advancing to state.

Two PHS instructors of economics were at the event – Cindy Fitzhum (supporting the AP teams) and Brad Scherer (for the high school level team).

At the meet, each student took a written, multiple choice exam in each of the first two rounds. During the third round, each team took the written test together. The two top scorers from the first three rounds then squared off with each other in an economics quiz bowl, in which team members press a buzzer to gain the floor if they think they have the right answer.

The Minnesota State Economics Challenge will be at the Federal Reserve Bank in Minneapolis. If a team performs well enough at the state meet, students can advance to a multistate competition, where they can vie to go to nationals, Fitzhum said.

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