Chatfield Academic Triathlon quintet headed to state meet

SUBMITTED PHOTO Chatfield’s Academic Triathlon team of, from left, Michelle Townsend, Hannah Tweten, Carly Backen, Keegan Patten and Aiden Johnsrud will be headed to the state meet on Saturday, April 6, in the Twin Cities. They earned their trip by competing in the regional meet on Friday, March 1, held in Chatfield.
By : 
Gretchen Mensink Lovejoy
Chatfield News

This year’s been a good run, and it’s time to take this P.A.R.T.Y. in a Box on the road.

Chatfield’s Academic Triathlon students competed in a regional meet on Friday, March 1, in Chatfield and the students made a great showing.

Staff and students have been extending kudos to the young people who competed in the Academic Triathlon tournaments that challenge young thinkers with the Mind Sprint artistic and engineering challenges, P.A.R.T.Y in a Box skit assignment and oral and written trivia face-offs. These three competitions comprise the triad of events that are Academic Triathlon, an elementary and middle school critical and creative thinking activity in which Chatfield has participated since 2014, taking on students from Lewiston-Altura, Dover-Eyota and St. Charles.

Advisor Jodie Daniels was proud announce, “Headed to state! Good luck to Keegan Patten, Hannah Tweten, Aiden Johnsrud, Michelle Townsend and Carly Backen!”

The quintet will put their minds together during the state Academic Triathlon tournament set for Saturday, April 6, in the Twin Cities.

Daniels observed that the Academic Triathlon tournament requires that students be able to think quickly and collaborate well.

“The P.A.R.T.Y. in a Box is the most challenging of the events,” she said. “Due to the random nature of the prompts, the kids only have 40 minutes to create an entire script, make props and costumes and decorate the backgrounds. They need to make sure their skit completes each area of the required elements.”

Academic Triathlon also offers students a chance to show off what they know through the trivia portion of the meets as they work through the Mind Sprints and the oral and written face-offs.

“The Academic Triathlon meets provide the opportunity for the kids to work together with other students who they don’t normally work with,” Daniels continued. “It is also a chance for them to shine with all of the amazing random and acquired knowledge they have gained over the years.”

Academic Triathlon is meant to meet the needs of students who have shown their passion for knowledge and intuition. “Many of these students see academic success in the classroom daily. This provides the opportunity for conversations and development at a high level to help meet the needs of each student at their level and challenge them for continued success,” Daniels said. “The academic skills they gain are the most obvious . . . the students get to work together with very high-achieving students who share a passion for learning. The most beneficial components of Academic Triathlon are the development of the four ‘Cs’ — critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.”

In addition to the state-bound team of Patten, Tweten, Johnsrud, Townsend and Backen, Daniels and her co-advisors were pleased to add they have teams that earned second and third place in the competition.

In second place were Grace Finley, Alaina Armstrong, Kylin Schroeder, Katryn Johnson and Cadyn Meyer.

In third place were Grayson Fister, Olivia McBroom, Gavin Carr, Anna Halvorson and Dani Severson.