MERRILLVILLE — Students from two La Porte County schools will be on the air starting this week as Lakeshore PBS presents the ninth season of its high school quiz show, “Making the Grade.”

The program will be “showcasing some of the best and brightest young minds in the region,” according to James Muhammad, president and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media,

Westville and South Central high school students will be among those participating, along with students from Andrean, Bowman Academy, Chesterton, Crown Point, Lowell, Merrillville, Portage, River Forest, Wheeler and Valparaiso.

“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 to 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,” he said.

Muhammad said he 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,” he 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 Monday at 5:30 p.m. Lakeshore PBS Passport members can see the entire season 9 online now.

Matt Franklin, the show’s executive producer, said he 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,” he 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.”

—From staff reports 

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