Freshmen compete with March Mammal Madness brackets

Taryn Robinson, Opinions Editor

Every year at Manhattan High School, all ninth grade and some 10-12 grade Biology classes participate in March Mammal Madness. The students are given a bracket along with different species of animals (alive or extinct) and are to choose which animal goes on to the next bracket.

“March Mammal Madness is a tournament where animals fight in a senecio until one animal comes out on top as the winner,” freshman Cooper Pfannenstiel said. “We made a bracket and each week a number of animals “fight” and then we read the scenarios in class.”

These scenarios include what habitat the animals fight in, the conditions and what their advantages are, based on what abilities they have. But before this, the freshmen are required to research and take notes about all the different animals throughout the bracket, along with any other special qualities they have.

“I personally liked learning about all the different animals- most of the animals I had never heard of,” Pfannenstiel said. “I enjoy that we get to see different animals go against each other,” Morrison said.

To start, there are four groups, each with 16 different animal species, which the students are in charge of narrowing down to a final winner.

“We had to research one animal and write information about it to share with the students,” freshman Zero Morrison said.

To make their decision, each student had different strategies or reasoning behind their choice of mammal.

“I look at whether it is a predator against prey, or predator against predator,” Morrison said. “If it is that last option, I chose the one with the deadliest features.”

As soon as all the students are completed with all of their brackets, it will be time to see what animal advanced in each round, along with the finalist and the champion.

“My animal lost in the second round,” Pfannenstiel said. “[As of now, I feel that] my bracket is doing pretty well,” Morrison said.

In some biology classes, the winners have already been announced and given a prize. As far as the prizes go, it ranges from a surprise, to a trophy, even to a box of pizza.

“The prize I think had something to do with pizza,” Morrison said. “[My biology teacher] hasn’t announced the prizes yet,” Pfannenstiel said.

March Mammal Madness is not only to provide the students with more information about mammals, but to make it fun while doing so.

“There isn’t anything really that I don’t like [about March Mammal Madness],” Pfannenstiel said. “[Although], waiting to see who advances is kinda annoying.”