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Academic Challenge Brings More Than 200 High School Students to McHenry County College

[Wednesday, February 12, 2020]

McHenry County College (MCC) welcomed more than 200 area high school students for the Academic Challenge last Friday, February 7.

The event, formerly known as the WYSE Competition, was conducted by Eastern Illinois University and invites high school students from across the state to compete by taking tests in various subject areas. Each student completed two tests, selecting from following categories: Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, English, Math, and Physics.

Students from 10 local high schools, including Barrington, Cary-Grove, Crystal Lake Central, Crystal Lake South, Marengo, Marian Central, Prairie Ridge, Richmond-Burton, Woodstock, and Woodstock North, competed in the first round of the competition. The competition culminates in a State Finals event held at the Eastern Illinois University at the end of April. 

In addition to the testing portion, the College offered various hands-on workshops hosted by MCC faculty, which allowed students to explore chemical reactions, nursing simulations, anatomy, and even a planetarium show. 

“We look forward to hosting this event every year,” said Maria Taydem, dean of mathematics and sciences at MCC. “It gives students a chance to not only challenge themselves academically, but to meet peers from other area schools while exploring some of the exciting things we’ve got going on at MCC.”

The event concluded with an awards ceremony where team trophies and individual medals were distributed. Individual winners included Connor Blaz of Marian Central Catholic for Biology; Tyler Fossum of Richmond-Burton for Chemistry; Manas Trivedi of Richmond-Burton for Computer Science and Math; Roger Hickey of Richmond-Burton for Engineering Graphics; Benjamin Reuter of Marian Central Catholic for English; and Jake Doyle of Marengo for Physics. Richmond-Burton, Woodstock North, and Barrington were all team winners of their respective divisions.

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