SIKESTON - The Standard Democrat's trivia quiz edition involved teamwork for both winners. The trivia was comprised of 60 questions including sports, demographics and other information about Sikeston and Scott, New Madrid and Mississippi counties.
For one winner, it was a learning experience. Under the guidance of their teacher, Jennifer Barnes, St. Francis Xavier's eighth grade class finished first in the trivia. The class worked individually and as a team on the project, learning to search the Internet, call places like the library, school and courthouse offices, and debate then vote on a final answer when no one could find the right answer.
Winning the trivia was also a team effort for the second place winners, David Dirks of Bernie and Joe Lane of Charleston.
The two men work together at the Bootheel Regional Planning and Economic Commission. Dirks, who identified himself as a "trivia buff" talked his friend into helping him with the trivia, especially the Mississippi county questions.
"We sort of challenged each other," Dirks said.
With their jobs, Dirks and Lane were familiar with navigating census and agricultural data to research the answers for some questions. "It wasn't a big stretch," Dirks said. "We know our way around the census data pretty easily."
They also called some sources - Lane called Junior DeLay, Mississippi county clerk for information like the date of the fire and retired coaches for some of the sports questions.
However, there were some difficult questions. "I found it really challenging to try to find out the industrial production for Cott Beverages and the hits at the Standard Democrat Web site," Dirks said. Since this information was not available on the Internet and neither Dirks or Lane wanted to call and disturb those sources, they guessed the answers.
At St. Francis Xavier, Barnes, who is the Quiz Bowl sponsor at St. Francis, said she thought the trivia quiz would be a good experience for her students, who all belong to the team.
Grade school, high school and college students often participate in the academic competition, where students compete against other teams answering questions over subjects like literature, history, science, math, social sciences, fine arts, geography, religion, mythology, philosophy and general knowledge.
"We had certain questions and if we couldn't get the number we were working on, someone would help us," said Katherine Leonard, 13.
"We used a couple of class periods to go into the computer lab and research," Barnes said. The students also worked on their assigned questions if they finished class early.
"It was fun, but it kind of took a long time," said Kyron Gross, 14. Gross and his classmates said some of the questions were quite hard and could not be found on the Internet.
The class agreed the sports questions were the most difficult. "There's nowhere to look up local sports," Barnes said.
Some of the students turned to their parents for help, although their parents would not give them the answers.
The students were motivated by the promise of a reward, said Wesley Glaus, 14 - Barnes promised the class they would use the prize money for a party - probably pizza - if they won. And since the class shouldn't need the full $100 prize for a party, they plan to use the remainder to help their school.
"With the rest of it, we will probably buy something to donate to the auction," Barnes said. An auction is held in the spring to help raise money for the school.
For the students, the trivia was an entertaining way to learn more about their community, and how to find information. "We had a good time doing it," Barnes said. "It was fun."