How a Game Show Can Save Lives

Talia Traxler, Reporter

On Monday November 28, Manitou Springs High School held an assembly for Drive Smart, an annual event put on by student council that helps save lives by informing teens about safe driving. The assembly wasn’t, however, typical, as Think Smart Interactive took a new approach to inform students with a game show. There was, of course, motivation: prizes of iTunes gift cards for the winning teams.

Melissa MacDonald (9) was the chair of the assembly, and was the only student council representative to help coordinate it. When asked if Drive Smart was able to pass a clear message along to the students, MacDonald stated “It just depends on the person, for some people, they understood what it was about. For others, maybe who weren’t at the point of having their permit or license, they might not have gotten the full understanding of [smart driving].” MacDonald explained that the assembly was sponsored by the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT). “We were one of the few school that had this program come to to our school and try and get the word out about driver safety,” said MacDonald.

The game show included a variety of topics such as driver safety, occasional music video challenges and transportation true or false. Students broke up into groups of three to eight, and team captains were able to answer the questions using a remote. The atmosphere was quite competitive as students raced to get the highest ranking. There were four finalists: The two teams with the highest rankings, the winner of a dance competition, and the winner of a skit that challenged the competitors to try and convince the game show’s host, Rob, to refrain from driving intoxicated. The four finalists were Avery Olsen (9), Cassie Riley (11), Matt Rivera (12) and Julie Gardner. As only one could win for their team, the finalists answered given questions as best they could. When asked if she thought the approach was efficient, MacDonald explained “I did like the approach of it. One thing I wished they did was have more [information and questions] with driver safety and try to get the word out a little more, but I though it involved people.” The winner of the game show, who earned iTunes gift cards for her entire team, was Riley.