February 16, 2017

300 students to compete in Accounting Challenge

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Hundreds of high school and community college students will converge on Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Feb. 24 for the 19th annual Accounting Challenge.

About 300 students will be vying for college scholarships and other prizes at the event, to be held at the Student Recreation Center gymnasium. Sponsored by the School of Accountancy in SIU’s College of Business, the challenge is actually two events in one, featuring individual and team tests of knowledge, skills and problem-solving acumen.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the team competition portion of the 2017 Accounting Challenge. It will occur from about 10:30 a.m. until noon on Friday, Feb. 24, in the small gymnasium at the Student Recreation Center.

Beginning at about 9 a.m. the Accounting Challenge participants will take part in an academic competition that tests their accounting knowledge and skills. Competitors earning the highest scores in the three divisions of the academic challenge will win certificates and scholarships worth up to $500 if they attend SIU and major in accounting. The contest divisions are: accounting I, advanced accounting, and community college accounting.

Then it’s time to kick the brainstorming into high gear when the team challenge begins at 10:30 a.m. Each year, participants are tasked with working in teams to accomplish a specific feat. For instance, last year contestants received a few commonplace office items and were asked to create a package that would protect a cherry tomato from harm when struck by a hammer. Previous challenges included crafting a container to keep an egg unbroken when dropped from a second-story balcony and constructing a missile that would outdistance all other missiles in the room when launched by a catapult.

The 2017 challenge is a well-kept secret, revealed just as the contest begins.

 “Whatever we do will be a lot of fun,” Camille Hammers, a senior accounting major from Murphysboro who is coordinator of this year’s Accounting Challenge, promised.

The winning teams will receive trophies for their schools and individual team members.

Students from 19 high schools and three community colleges, coming from as far as almost 100 miles away, are set to participate in the 2017 Accounting Challenge. The event concludes with the awards presentation at 1 p.m.