Having “LifeSmarts” takes five students to Walt Disney World

After winning the State LifeSmarts Competition  for the fourth year in a row this past February, five students will be flying off to Orlando, Florida on April 26 to compete in the Nation LifeSmarts Competition.

“LifeSmarts is the ultimate consumer challenge,” business teacher and LifeSmarts advisor Bruce Burwitz said. “Students compete in five different categories: consumer rights and responsibilities, the environment, health and safety, personal finance and technology. It’s a contest to see who has everyday smarts.”

The five Fenton High students with the most “everyday smarts” are seniors Ross Person, Alex Garant and Christopher Kaniewski with juniors Kalei Glozier and Jacob Goodman.

To qualify for the national competition, the boys had to beat out the top seven Michigan teams from schools all over the state in the LifeSmarts State Competition at Oakland University in Rochester hosted by the Better Business Bureau.

“Its a buzzer competition with two teams of four (with one alternate member) competing against one another for the most points,” Burwitz said. “There is a judging panel to determine which team buzzed in first and whether or not the answer is correct.”

In order to be a member on the FHS LifeSmarts Team, students must be enrolled in one of the three business courses taught by Burwitz. Next, these students have to be one of the top scorers after taking a series of 20 question tests over the five key business categories.

“We prepare for the qualifying tests and competition by taking quizzes with similar business questions as a warm up in Mr. Burwitz’s class,” Goodman said. “LifeSmarts is great because you don’t really get to learn about personal finance in other classes. It’s useful for kids to learn because soon they will be using it in everyday life.”

This year marks the fourth state championship win for FHS, though the team members have been different each year. Burwitz and his LifeSmarts teams competed in Hollywood, CA, Atlanta, GA, Philadelphia, PA, and now Orlando, FL where they will have some time set aside to enjoy the Disney Parks.

“I have park passes for three days,” Burwitz said. “We will not be able to use them all day, but at different times in between the competition. It should be a lot of fun.”

“I’m excited for the trip,” Goodman said. “ I got to be a part of national team last year too and went to Atlanta. We toured the World of Coke which was pretty cool and got to see the the largest indoor aquarium while we were there.