Ashley Priest, Sarah Martin and Kailah Lee take part in the SCORE Challenge at East Middle School on Friday.
Ashley Priest, Sarah Martin and Kailah Lee take part in the SCORE Challenge at East Middle School on Friday. (KEN KOONSSTAFF PHOTO, Baltimore Sun Media Group)

The school week was officially over, but local middle-school students were still looking up interesting facts Friday evening.

About 100 Carroll County middle-school students typed quickly on their laptops to find the answers to trivia questions at the third annual Student Collaboration of Research Exploration (or SCORE) Challenge.


The team-based trivia contest challenges students to use technology to find answers quickly, said Colleen Lucas, media specialist at Shiloh Middle School.

Lucas said that media specialists at Shiloh and North Carroll middle schools came together to create the trivia challenge. The goal is to teach students to use technology to learn and become more digitally savvy, she said, a skill they will need through their secondary education and into college.

"It's also about them to understand how to look for and use a credible source," Lucas said, which can help students access accurate information.

Students are allowed to use three sources — online databases — during the competition: Encyclopedia Britannica, Biography in Context and CultureGrams.

The students from East, North Carroll, Oklahoma Road and Shiloh middle schools paired in teams of two or three for the competition. During each round, students had limited time to find the answer to a trivia question.

Sarah Martin, Kailah Lee and Ashley Priest, of East Middle School, drew war paint under their eyes before the competition began. They named their group "The Sassy Batmans."

Kailah, 12, said their group's game plan was to type fast and be happy.

"This is our turf," said Kailah, pointing to the school's mascot, the Bulldogs, in the gymnasium, where the competition was being held. "You step in here; you mess with the Bulldogs."

But Ashley, 12, said she quickly realized during their four team practices that she was not a fast typer, especially under pressure.

Not too many feet away, Chris Bell, of North Carroll Middle School, was sitting, relaxed and confident that his team could win the competition.

Last year, Chris' team placed third. This year, he had a different group of partners but said he received some good advice from last year's first-place winners, who were from his middle school.

"Control-'F' is how you win," Chris said. "It helps you quickly find a word you are looking for on the page."

Another tip Chris learned was to start thinking about the question as it is read the first time, to help identify what keywords to type into the database after hearing it the second time.

He said having experience using two of three databases would also aid his team in finding the answers quickly.


Chris likes trivia. He said it is fascinating to know about history because it can be applied to the future.

Neither Chris nor Kailah's group took first, second or third place during the competition. All of those top positions went to students from Shiloh Middle School.

"I guess they will be gunning for us next year," said Lucas.

First-place winners were William Eichhorn, Jacob Schoenberger and Christopher Slaughter, who each took home a $75 Amazon gift card.

Christopher and Jacob, eighth-graders, have competed in the trivia challenge every year. This is William's second year with their team.

According to Jacob, the team's secret weapon was William, a seventh-grader.

"He's an amazing teammate," Jacob said. "He really inspired us."

Jacob said not breaking down or being frustrated if they could not find an answer helped to keep them focused during the game.

The second-place team, Megan Ammon, Libby Harford and Brittany Brooks, took home $50 gift cards, and third-place teammates Matt Frances, AJ Geckle and Griffin Sober received $25 gift cards.

Reach staff writer Krishana Davis at 410-857-7862 or