Rhinelander High School took a hiatus from classes for a day earlier this week, instead taking a different approach to learning.
On March 2, the high schoolers participated in a variety of day-long activities—the juniors took the now-required ACT test, while freshmen and sophomores toured Nicolet College.
As for the senior class, they took part in a day-long educational experience put on by the Partners In Education group, in coordination with Leadersip Oneida County. The annual event, called Mad Money, has in the past been an event for juniors, but with the change in ACT requirements has been upgraded for the senior class.
The event was a series of seminars, presentations and activities. Volunteers, through Partners In Education, Leadership Oneida County and business people from around the community, led seminars, presentations and mock interviews.
“I was actually really impressed with their composure and interview skills,” said Dana DeMet, director of the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce, who was volunteering as part of Leadership Oneida County in the mock interview section. “Overall as an experience I think this is really just positive… There are some really important Rhinelander area business people here today, and they’re interacting with RHS seniors, and I think that’s pretty cool.”
The highlight for the students was a magnified version of the board game Life, where the students were given a salary and different choices as they walked around the ‘board.’
“I liked the game a lot, that was a lot of fun,” said RHS senior Alex Reas. “This game really opens your eyes up to feeling that there’s a lot more that goes on in life than you realize, and it really is a game of chance out there, you never know when something’s going to go wrong.”
Volunteers from Rhinelander financial instiutions organized the game, including Ripco Credit Union’s vice president of marketing, Diane Sowinski.
“The youth are our future, so in order to prepare them, especially since I work in a financial institution you see what kind of trouble people get into,” Sowinski said. “So if we can teach them at this age how important it is then they won’t be running into those same problems down the road.”
Next year Partners In Education hopes to combine the new activities with the traditional Mad Money design.
“We try and supplement the experience that kids are learning in school, with how it applies to the business world.” said Lara Barbour, president of Partners In Education and coordinator of the event. “A lot of what we do is we want to make sure that we’re being good partners with what’s happening in the schools.”
“It’s actually been a lot better than I thought it would be,” Reas said of Mad Money. “Talking more about the stuff that really gets you intrigued, that you need to be aware about… that was actually really interesting.”