The Amazing Shake Competition returns to RDC

Published 1:17 pm Wednesday, January 10, 2024

For the last few years, an event called the Amazing Shake Competition has graced Robert D. Campbell Junior High School.

In 2024, with students from Baker Intermediate School also participating, it came around once more.

Over 200 fifth through eighth-grade students participated in the Amazing Shake Competition, providing them with life skills for the next level.

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“It’s a competition that helps with professionalism, adaptability, flexibility, [and] some of those soft skills that aren’t necessarily always taught just with content,” said Megan Scheper, an 8th-grade mathematics teacher at RDC.

Began by the Ron Clark Academy in Atlanta, Georgia, the Amazing Shake Competition consists of six rounds: the Gauntlet, Work the Room, Circle of Doom, Debate Round, Team Work Challenge and Final Debate Round.

On Monday, Jan. 8th, the Gauntlet Round took place inside RDC’s library with 25 stations that allowed students to interact with fellow professionals and be assessed based on eye contact, confidence, and additional qualities.

Former Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner – one of many volunteers – had students pitch to him what changes they thought should be made if they were to become mayor.

The event also featured other community figures acting as volunteers, such as Engine House Pizza Pub co-owner Chad Walker, resident Brett Cheuvront, students from George Rogers Clark High School, and – from just outside the community – Owner and General Manager Ethan Moore of WSKV Radio.

Although her son had previously participated, Shawna Mitchell – a fourth-grade teacher at Athens-Chilesburg Elementary School in Lexington – was volunteering for the first time.

“We have a table full of items, and the items are being set out for a sales pitch. The child will pick one item that connects with them, and their goal is to persuasively sell that item to me,” Mitchell said. “I’m super excited…we are taking the same idea and pulling it to our school in Lexington.”

To participate in the event, students had to be at or near the top of their class when presenting a project – often including technology – that each class worked on in science class.

“I did mine on the amber fossil and how bugs and flies and other things would get trapped in amber,” said Tripp Cecil, an 8th-grade participant.

“I did mine over a saber-toothed tiger,” said 8th grader Sophia Blose. “I made my model out of play dough, and then I had my whole slideshow.”

Some of the stations could prove challenging yet engaging.

For example, in a mock White House Press Room, students were asked to stand at a podium and speak while others – acting as reporters or hecklers – spoke over them.

“It’s probably the most difficult,” said 8th Grader Jack Toffy. “It gets a lot of things happening, [but] it’s probably my favorite…. it’s a great experience!”

Ultimately, three students will represent Robert D. Campbell Junior High School in the National Amazing Shake Competition in Atlanta from March 22nd-24th.

“These are things that we can definitely improve to help our students in the future,” Scheper added.