Hometown Hi-Q

Who’s ready for a game show? This year, Shenango students got to test their knowledge in a local game show filmed in Pittsburgh called Hometown Hi-Q. The show is structured similarly to Jeopardy, with questions on anything from math to history, and the points are awarded to the first team to buzz in (with the correct answer, of course.)

Shenango’s team consisted of Brandel Cwynar, Lydia Anderson, and Alisa Fracul, with Paige Seitam, Andrew Handley, and Hunter McQuiston forming the back-up team. They travelled to Pittsburgh on October 14th with social studies teacher Ms. Shields to film at KDKA studios. And they not only participated…they won!

“We got picked essentially by trying out,” shared Hunter McQuiston.  “We went in Ms. Shields’ room and played the game. We all had certain teams, but it was a little different for some people. Some people took a written test.”

“There was no specific way to try out,” Shields added, “so we tried to duplicate the show and pulled up an episode. I split the students up in three, like the show, and asked questions similar to those on the show.”

Once the players were selected, a similar setup was used to practice. “We went into the classroom and what we would do is sit there like we were on the show, but we were just watching an episode,” Brandel Cwynar explained.  Ms. Shields would pause the recorded show after the question so that her own students could answer.  Giving the students the experience of being on the show and examples of the questions they would ask really helped them, according to Cwynar.

Junior Alisa Fracul noted that it was both nerve-wracking and fun, and while there were difficult questions, like the math ones, a lot were based on history, both ancient and recent. Advisor Miss Shields mentioned, “Aisa Fracul is very quick with science and math, so I knew I could use her.”

Each of the Shenango team members had a different response when it came to what inspired them to learn about history. Alisa credited her teachers for fueling her love of the subject. For Brandel, it’s the abundance of stories that make up a single timeline and being able to understand more about what people are talking or thinking about. Hunter likes studying various wars and comparing how people lived in the past to how we live today. For Paige, it’s the joy of knowing random facts, and being able to chime in and say, “Well actually…”

For Andrew, it’s the real-world experience that engages him.  “You get more enjoyment going to a certain spot when you know the background of that area, of the building, of the artifact and the history behind it and what it was used for,” he said.  “Just knowing that makes the experience more enjoyable.”

The next round of Hometown Hi-Q will take place in the spring, and our champions are not the least bit worried. Miss Shields exclaimed, “I’m going to give them a nice month or two off, and then in the winter, we will start getting together, probably once or twice a week,” she said.  “We’ll do what we did before, just watch more episodes and prepare for questions they could be asking.”  

From the student perspective, Alisa noted that it’s not something they can really prepare for. It’s something you have to already know a lot about

“When it comes down to it, maybe when we are like five weeks out, we will meet maybe once a week and rehearse the episodes just to get back into it,” said Brandel. “It’s really different because it’s not what’s going to be on and here’s what to study for. It’s Hi-Q. It’s about knowing a lot of stuff you can’t study for. You have to get the feel for answering a lot of questions in a short period of time and be quick at responding.”

When it came to what their favorite moment of the day was, Brandel said that he enjoyed being on camera, getting to hit the buzzer, and finding out after the show was over that they had won. For Hunter, it was seeing Plum answer their question wrong, leading to Shenango’s victory. Alisa said, “I was pretty sure we won. I liked when we were tied and then we got it with the last question. It was very exciting.”

The last and winning question Alisa talked about was this: “What Greek character is known for flying too close to the sun and having his wings burned?” Do you know the answer?

Check out their victory when Hometwon High-Q airs on December 16th at 11:00 am and December 23rd at 11:30 am on KDKA.

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