By WVUA 23 Reporter Khadijah Torbert

Learning history can be a challenge, but today two Tuscaloosa elementary schools faced off in the first-of-its-kind cross-city African-American History Championship.

Students from Southview Elementary and University Place Elementary schools knew so much about African-American history, it’s hard to believe they’re only fifth-graders.

The event, sponsored by The 100 Black Men of West Alabama, featured four 5-minute question rounds of questions.

“Often times in trivia competition, it’s strictly memorization, you just need to know a set fact and what happened,” said University of Alabama student and University Place Elementary student coach Aaron Drake. “So in our case we wanted to make sure they understood how to look into text, pick out context clues and actually understand what’s going on.”

In the end, University Place Elementary came out on top.

“I was determined to win, and I wanted to have fun,” said team member Evelyn Garcia.

But it wasn’t just elementary-schoolers getting some learning in for the event; University of Alabama engineering students built the snazzy buzzers on which the event relied.

“Eight or nine students were involved,” said Assistant Department Head of Electrical Engineering Kenny Ricks. “The teams could buzz in, and the other team would get locked out when the first team buzzed in.”

The African-American History Challenge program began in 1995. Students were given copies of “Life Upon These Shores: Looking at African-American History” so they could prepare for the competition.

University Place is hosting a special ceremony for the winning team.

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