Great Turnout for Merit Scholar Competition!

By Reed Gabhart, Head of the Goshen Campus

On Sunday, I had the privilege of attending and proctoring the Merit Scholar Competition at our Downtown Campus! The front lobby was buzzing as a pack of rising 6th and 9th graders nervously awaited their marching orders. And what a turnout! We had 35 prospective freshmen compete, with 13 coming from Goshen plus 17 other schools represented, and 24 rising 6th graders, with a whopping 19 from Goshen and five from other area schools.

I was with the 5th graders, who readily admitted to being nervous (good snacks helped, though!). We talked about how the test-taking experience in itself was a great thing for them to experience for their future, and we discussed the fact that they had a lot to gain and absolutely nothing to lose! They took a short test in Language Arts, trying to figure out analogies (after we discussed several examples), and a brief quantitative test in math. After a break, each student also had 45 minutes to write a creative story based on his/her choice of three different writing prompts prepared by Mr. Donovan. Science wrapped up the day as the students did hands-on experiments building parachutes with High School science teachers David Word and Benjamin Studevent-Hickman.  The 8th graders had similar activities – tests, essay, science experiment.  

I think I can safely speak for the students in saying that despite it being a day of “testing,” the kids by and large had fun. This was a new and exciting experience. They got to see the Downtown Campus and meet some new people and teachers. I bragged on them at Morning Meeting on Monday and had them stand up, but so many just wanted to know, “Who won??” Sorry, guys, that will take us a couple of weeks to figure out (and all judging is done anonymously).

Congratulations to all these students who were willing to take a chance and experience something new and a little daunting. It will serve them well in the future, as we all know different types of testing are a necessary part of life. I just wish it could always be this much fun – and among friends!