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‘Academic Challenge’ set to begin its 51st season with new host

December 21, 2018

‘Academic Challenge’ set to begin its 51st season with new host

On Saturday, Dec. 22, WEWS Channel 5′s 5, 6 and 11 p.m. anchor Rob Powers can count himself among the many past hosts of the station’s long-running scholastic competition, “Nordson Academic Challenge,” when it premieres its 51st season at its new time, 10 a.m.

Powers, a Northeast Ohio native, feels a strong connection to the show.

“I grew up watching the show when Don Webster was the host,” said Powers in a press release. “And it’s a real honor and joy to be involved in such a long-standing Cleveland tradition.”

The program pits three area high schools against each other. Student teams try to get points for their knowledge in math, science, history and current events. Each team consists of three high school students. At the end of each program, the points are totaled and, at season’s end, the three highest-scoring teams return for the championship match, according to Channel 5.

When the show debuted in 1964, it was called “It’s Academic” and was hosted by Don Cameron. In 1972, Webster, who recently died, became the new host under the new name “Academic Challenge.” It ran until 1999 and was later rebooted in 2003.

Another add-on this year is Nordson Corp., which is the new title sponsor for the program. Nordson is headquartered in Westlake.

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