Westville students to be featured in quiz show

Westville students will be among the participants in the upcoming season of "Making the Grade," a quiz show on PBS.

MERRILLVILLE— For the ninth year, Lakeshore PBS is showcasing some of the best and brightest young minds in the region with their high school quiz show, “Making the Grade.”

According to a PBS press release, schools participating this year include Andrean, Bowman Academy, Chesterton, Crown Point, Lowell, Merrillville, Portage, River Forest, South Central, Westville, Wheeler and Valparaiso. Gavit & Kankakee Valley were forced to drop out at the last minute due to scheduling conflicts.

“I'm always excited to see the schools show up each year,” said Andy Schultz, who returns as host for his fifth season. “We take their recognizable quiz bowl format, add lights, cameras, and buzzers, and have a chance see some very bright and talented students do their best work for a television audience. It's something all participating students can be proud of," said Schultz.

James A. Muhammad, President and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media, sees the production as an example of what the region has to offer. “I continue to be impressed, season after season, with how well-prepared the students are for this competition,” Muhammad said. “From knowing scientific terms, historic events or advanced algebraic formulas, I always walk away from taping the show knowing the future is bright for Northwest Indiana.”

The show will premiere on Lakeshore PBS on June 10 at 5:30 p.m. Lakeshore PBS Passport members can see all shows from season 9 online now.

Matt Franklin, the show’s executive producer, hopes the program connects with viewers of all ages with different backgrounds and different levels of knowledge. “We have a long history of producing programs that spotlights athletic feats from around the region,” Franklin said. “I developed this program to be a fun way to show that high-level academic accomplishments are also worth sharing.”

“The students are engaged from the moment they walk in the door of the studio until the end of the tournament in intelligent discussion with peers, interaction with a working television crew, and the usual clowning around to reduce some of the pressure of the tournament format,” Schultz said. “It's a highlight for me each spring.”

Lakeshore PBS broadcasts its main channel over the air on 56, on Comcast on 17 or 21 (HD Channel 239), on RCN Cable on 44, on Dish Network (HD Channel 6320), AT&T U-verse (HD Channel 1056) and DirecTV on 56.

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