Encarta Challenge 2001 is an online contest for teens ages 13-18. Consisting of six rounds, the first round began on September 1st and is still open for play until September 9. To play a round, teenagers log onto EncartaChallenge.com
www.EncartaChallenge.com and answer five research questions whose answers can be found in Encarta Online (encarta.msn.com
). The round is timed; and if you succeed in answering all five multiple-choice questions correctly, you proceed to the next round. The questions become harder and the time to answer shorter in subsequent rounds. Five finalists will advance to the final round on Nov. 13 on the “Good Morning America” show. The winner walks away with $50,000 in cash for college, a new car, a Gateway computer, and other goodies.
Teen-testers approached this contest with much enthusiasm. They loved the chance to win big; but more than that, they appreciated that this contest made researching fun. One was surprised to discover that Encarta Online was such a “useful tool”. Another liked the competition aspect because “it was an entertaining way to use the online encyclopedia, rather than looking up boring facts for a project.”
An insightful teen-contestant observed that “Encarta Challenge shows kids that memorizing a million trivial facts isn’t as important as knowing where to locate such information.”
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.