Team challenge

February 27, 2018

Hundreds compete for scholarships and prizes at SIU's 2018 Accounting Challenge

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Nearly 250 students from 22 high schools throughout Southern Illinois competed for college scholarships and other prizes at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s 20th annual Accounting Challenge on Feb. 2. 

Contestants vied for scholarships

Sponsored by the College of Business’ School of Accountancy, the event began with written quizzes to assess the contestants’ accounting knowledge and skills. Students earning the highest scores in each division received certificates. They also receive SIU scholarships worth up to $500 if they attend SIU and major in accounting. 

Scholarship winners

Winners of the individual contest, listed by competition division along with their schools, grades and the potential scholarships they could claim, are:

High School Accounting I

  • First – Ian Gilchrist, Marion High School, 12th grade, $500.
  • Second – Sam Childers, Marion High School, 12th grade, $300.
  • Third – tie, Grant Tanner, Pinckneyville High School, 10th grade; James Veller, Centralia High School, 10th grade; Jessica Davis, O’Fallon High School, 12th grade; $200. 

High School Advanced Accounting

  • First – Coby Blaylock, O’Fallon High School, 11th grade, $500.
  • Second – tie, Dawson McRoberts, Du Quoin High School, 12th grade; Jesse Strang, Marion High School, 11th grade; $300.
  • Third – Brett Hersant, O’Fallon High School, 12th grade, $200. 

Teams compete for trophies and bragging rights

The competition then shifted to a hands-on team challenge. Contestants worked in groups to complete a series of four design, construction and skills challenges, battling the clock and the other teams. 

The goal was to see how fast you could accomplish four tasks:

  • Stack a bunch of 3-inch heavyweight hex nuts on their sides with a yardstick.
  • Balance a whiffle ball over a blast of hot air coming from an air gun while walking around a cart.
  • Create a paper airplane that would fly at least 25 feet through the air.
  • Use ordinary paper, a paper plate and no more than three feet of masking tape to construct a tower at least three feet tall. 

The teams were scored by how fast they successfully completed the four assignments, accounting for 60 percent of each team’s score. The remainder of the score was based on an average of the team members’ scores in the individual accounting quiz. 

Team challenge winners

The winners of the team challenge, listed by division, along with the names of the team members and grades, are:

High School Accounting I Team

  • First – Hillsboro High School: Landan Malloy, Jordan Gregg, Landon Carroll and Sierra Pearson; all 11th-graders.
  • Second – Greenville High School: Sam Knebel, 11th grade; Jonathon Barnes, 10th grade; Tyler Bryant, 12th grade; Mason Schweppe, 12th grade; and Levi Siebert, 11th grade. 

High School Accounting II – Advanced Accounting

  • First – Pinckneyville High School: Daniel Huggins and Dakota Hubler, both 12th
  • Second – Flora High School: Aven Kimell, Drew Woodrow and Samantha Payne (grades unavailable.) 

Each winning team received a trophy for its school as well as trophies for individual team members. 

Cade Dibadj, a Belleville senior accounting major at SIU, and Andrew Huggins, a master’s of accountancy student from Tamaroa, served as coordinators for the 2018 Accounting Challenge.