During the first couple of weeks of school, Mr. Shields does a competition for his eighth grade students called “The Sweet Sixteen”, which is a competition to see who know the states the best. He stands at the board with a map of the U.S. Two students face off against each other and try to name the state that he points at the fastest. Who ever wins the most in the class moves onto the bracket play. They then face other people from other class periods and work their way through the bracket towards first place. Eventually, you have a winner who receives a prize from Mr. Shields. Last year's winner was Kaden Paxton who is now in ninth grade.
Alec Nole, one of the sweet sixteen competitors, says that “It’s really fun being in the top sixteen, when you play it’s super nerve racking, but still really fun at the same time. I do pretty good when I play, except that I can’t ever remember which state is Kansas.”
Mr. Shields had played “Around the World” a couple of years ago and had an idea to play it with his students to learn the 50 states better. He has done it for about 10 years now, and every year he says has been great.
Ryan Glazier, another one of the sweet sixteen participants, says that when he plays all he can think about is, will he win. “I hate all of the states that look like squares, I can never remember which ones are which.”
Games like this are always an amazing way to teach students and get them involved in the topic. “It definitely helped me learn the states more,” said Alec. The sweet sixteen students were Roman Betts,
McKenly Gross, Nico Elliot, Max Whipple, Porter Small, Lauren Mesinar, Alec Noll, Sarah Hubbard, Jace Welsch, Adrian Camacho, Diana Sosa, Dulce Tenorio, Ryan Glazier, Kode Cottam, Lizzy Wilkinson, Emma Payne, and Issac Miles-alternate. The final two came down to Emma Payne and Sarah Hubbard, Sarah ending up as the champion.