OMS SEEK teams place 2nd, 3rd in Missouri LifeSmarts contest

JEFFERSON CITY — Students from all over Missouri were tested on their consumer and marketplace knowledge at the LifeSmarts 2019 state competition, held Nov. 27 in the Governor’s Office Building.

The state competition was sponsored by Missouri Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and Missouri Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). There were eight teams from across the state vying for the state title.

Owensville Middle School’s SEEK program had two teams qualify to compete at the state event. The first team was made up of seventh-graders Emelia Lakebrink (team captain), Kendra Lay, and Anya Binkhoelter, and eighth-graders Emily Nichols and Gabe Soest.

The second team included eighth-graders Lacie Clark (team captain), Aurora Maher, and Abby Terry, seventh-grader Layne Evans, and sixth-grader Jadan Zelch. Team One placed second in the state competition, and Team Two placed third. 

This is the third year that SEEK students have competed in the state LifeSmarts competition. Their coach is OMS faculty member Heather Vinyard who is in her fourth year teaching the SEEK program for gifted students.

LifeSmarts was established in 1994 and is part of the National Consumers League, the nation’s pioneering consumer organization. The program is an educational opportunity that teaches students in grades 6-12 to be smart, responsible, and successful consumers. LifeSmarts has been active in Missouri since 2003 and has been sponsored and run by Missouri FCCLA since that time.

At LifeSmarts, student teams from local high schools and middle schools go head-to-head in a Jeopardy-style competition and are quizzed on topics such as consumer rights and responsibilities, the environment, health and safety, personal finance and technology.

LifeSmarts is designed to complement the curriculum already in place in middle and high schools and is set to align with national education standards. The competition begins online, with the highest scoring teams advancing to in-person state championships.

State-wide competitions are locally coordinated by state partnering organizations and agencies. Winners of the varsity competition are invited to the National LifeSmarts Championship to be held in Orlando, Fla., next spring from April 13-16.