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LHS students to be on PBS' Granite State Challenge

September 18, 2010
LITTLETON - On Thursday, six Littleton High School students will travel to Durham to participate in the New Hampshire Public Television's Granite State Challenge, an academic game show-style program where high schools compete against each other. For several years LHS was absent from the competition, but because of the leadership of Rick Stinehour, the program has returned.

The team consists of seniors Tyler Ash, Allison Marsh, Hannah-Marie Smith and Junior Joe Kratman. The two alternates are sophomore Aimee Hastings and junior Sarah Stinehour. LHS will take on Trinity High School, of Manchester, tomorrow. The show will be broadcasted on Oct. 13 at 6 p.m. and again on Saturday, October 16 at 8:30 a.m. on Channel 11- New Hampshire Public Television.

The team has had several evening and weekend practices where they studied the previous shows to learn the ropes. The elder Stinehour, who is in the book publishing business, filed the initial paper work to initiate the program and then became the group's advisor. "It's been a lot of fun," he said, as well as learning experience for them. "They are a credit to Littleton High School," he added.

The competition has three rounds of questions, a bonus round sandwiched by two toss-up rounds. Team Captain, Hanna Marie Smith, said you couldn't possibly know every question. They will face 45-50 questions across a wide spectrum of knowledge. "You know what you know," she said. The key is to listen carefully to the question, prioritize your time and take risks when necessary. Some queries, Tyler Ash said, are designed to trick the participants. "We practice listening," he said before answering. "Teams that have lost," he said, "(tend to) jump to the wrong conclusion."

The Granite State Challenge, "is a great opportunity," said Ash, who plans to go to college to study business and marketing next year. "I love it," he added. Smith, who wants to go to Northeastern University to study Physical Therapy, agrees and notes that the game builds on a variety of skills from specific academic areas to teamwork, prioritizing and public speaking. There is an added benefit too, she said. "We miss a day of school to go to Durham."

Other North Country schools competing in the Granite State Challenge include Lisbon, Linwood, Berlin, Gorham, Stratford and Colebrook. An area school has never won, but two have made into the finals, Profile in 1998 and Woodsville in 1995.

Martin Lord Osman
Brewster Academy
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