On Friday, March 8, Waynflete competed in the Maine LifeSmarts Competition at Unum in Portland. Led by captain Ben Lualdi, team members included Sam Yankee, Hannah Babcock, Tabarak Al Musawi, and Haoming Ma. LifeSmarts is a consumer challenge competition whose goal is to educate young adults to be intelligent consumers. Some of the material is immediately applicable, some will help in the near future, while other material will help students long-term. The five core content areas are personal finance, technology, health and safety, consumer rights and responsibilities, and the environment. The format of competition is in a game show style, with two teams competing against one another at a time.
For two months, our team met every Wednesday morning before school. Our sessions focused on working through previous years’ question sets and becoming comfortable with the style of questions and format of the competition. Weekly breakfasts were a responsibility that rotated among team members; after all, a well-balanced breakfast is vital to academic success.
Our strong preparation was apparent during the preliminary matches at the State Competition. The team’s record stood at 3-0 after three matches, earning victories against Mt. Ararat, Gardiner Area, and Woodland High School. In the championship match, we were pitted against Woodland High School for the privilege of representing the state at the LifeSmarts National Competition in Orlando, Florida. Halfway through the fourth and final round of questioning, we were tied. As we began the second half of the challenge round, the team gained momentum and edged ahead. We sealed our victory on question 18 of 20 when Hannah Babcock answered “buyer beware” to the question, “Commonly used to remind consumers before making a purchase, what does the Latin phrase ‘caveat emptor’ mean in English?” We bested Woodland High School 150-120 and were crowned LifeSmarts State Champions for the second year in a row!
Our victory at the state competition earned us an all-expenses paid trip to compete at the LifeSmarts Nationals Competition in Orlando, Florida from April 13–16. Follow our journey on Twitter (@207lifesmarts) as we look to improve upon our seventh-place finish at Nationals last year!