National Consumers League

Florida takes national LifeSmarts title in 2015

This post originally appeared on LifeSmarts.org. LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League.

What an exciting conclusion to our 21st year! Florida topped Rhode Island by the slimmest of margins – just 2 points – to win the National LifeSmarts Championship last week in Seattle, WA.

Congratulations to coach Kathy Loggie and her LifeSmarts team from Paxon School for Advanced Studies in Jacksonville, Florida. Team members Harrison Andrew, Joseph Cain, Aaron Routzong, Evan Spaulding, and Captain Nicholas Pellegrino are to be commended for the consumer smarts they demonstrated throughout competition.

Team members each received $1,000 post-secondary education scholarships from Amazon.com and Western Union, and Microsoft Surface Tablets.

I also want to commend the other top-placing teams who competed deep into the national championship:

Second Place: Rhode Island; Barrington High School, Barrington, RI

Coach: Samuel Schachter

Captain: Matthew Lamontagne; Team members: Steven Forte, Brian McGartoll, Teddy Ni, and Eli Shea

Third Place: Hawaii; ‘Iolani High School, Honolulu, HI

Coach: James Rubasch

Captain: Justus Wataru; Team members: Noah Asada, Matthew Azama, Norton Kishi, Bailey Sylvester

Third Place (tied): Michigan; Fenton High School, Fenton, MI

Coach: Bruce Burwitz, Co-coach: Andy Cocagne

Captain: Jacob Goodman; Team members: Andrew Celini, Katherine Hiller, Kelsey Krause, Zachary Williams

To begin to appreciate the broad consumer knowledge students gain by participating in LifeSmarts, here are a few of the questions the Florida and Rhode Island teams tackled in the national finals:

  1. When college students apply for financial aid, they should complete this form to determine their family’s expected contribution to their education: (Answer: FAFSA; Free Application for Federal Student Aid)
  2. Why is texting while driving considered the most dangerous form of distracted driving? (Answer: It requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver; drivers have to take their eyes, hands, and mind off of the road)
  3. How do consumers react when consumer confidence is going up? (Answer: Consumers spend more freely)
  4. Name one advantage of using DRM? (Answer: Fights copyright infringement; helps ensure digital content is legitimate)
  5. Harmful “germs” or disease-causing microorganisms are called: (Answer: Pathogens)
  6. Name two ways consumers can help conserve water in the yard: (Answers: Irrigate more efficiently; use water-wise plants; improve the soil; harvest rainwater; use graywater instead of potable water on plants; design a more water-efficient landscape)

We often remind students and coaches that they are all winners in LifeSmarts. We sincerely believe it. I hope that the journey to learning more about consumer issues has been a fantastic one for all of our competitors this year!

Remember: LifeSmarts resources remain available year-round at LifeSmarts.org, and competition begins again after Labor Day!