Norcross boy wins BIG - $20,000 prize
By Carole Townsend
Norcross – Briggs Dommert is likely the most proud 9-year-old in Norcross these days. His parents must definitely be proud of their son, who was recently awarded $20,000 by unlocking clues and codes in Brain Chase, an online enrichment program for students in grades 2 – 8.
“I’m not exaggerating to say that the news that Briggs had found the treasure and won the prize was probably the most exciting thing to ever happen in our kids’ lives and ours,” said Travis Dommert, Briggs’ dad. His wife Lisa would agree. In fact, the family learned about Brain Chase through The Davidson Institute in Reno, Nevada. “We were looking for enrichment programs to challenge our oldest daughter Ella. She decided to do Brain Chase for the summer and loved it,” said Travis. “All of our kids were getting into the act and were a little jealous that Ella was the only one who could complete the challenges. By the end of summer, my wife asked the other kids who wanted to do it next, and Briggs was the quickest to respond.”
“Brain Chase can be an exciting alternative to tutoring, or it can be a summer bridge program,” said Brandy Shuman, who is promoting Briggs’ exciting win on behalf of Brain Chase. For nine straight weeks, students put in roughly an hour a day polishing their math, reading, writing, even engineering and arts. At the end of every week, if all of the student’s work is completed, the student can view a “webisode,” an original video created by the folks at Brain Chase. Each week, clues are revealed to the student; at the end of nine weeks, he has all the tools and clues he needs to figure out where the treasure is buried.
Briggs was the first 2016 participant in the program to complete the daily academic challenges and unlock the clues to locate the treasure. The first to pinpoint the location within a 2-mile radius, Briggs won the grand prize. Where was the treasure buried? New Orleans, Louisiana. “I knew we couldn’t find the treasure until we had the last word of the riddle. Once I figured that out, we were pretty sure we had the right treasure location in Folsom, LA. I felt really excited and hoped that we guessed the right spot the fastest,” Briggs said. They did, and as a result, he recently flew to New Orleans with his family, to physically unearth the treasure and the trophy, both of which he will undoubtedly cherish for the rest of his life. Brain Chase paid for the entire trip, and of course funded the $20,000 prize scholarship.
“It was really fun! I got to tour a swamp, and I saw alligators and wild pigs. We toured the French Quarter in a carriage and got to eat delicious beignets and pralines. My favorite part of the trip was digging up the treasure and holding the $20,000,” Briggs said. But a commitment of nine weeks, and an hour a day of Brain Chase assignments in addition to school homework? How many kids could possibly endure that? According to Briggs, any student who likes adventure and challenge could not only endure the nine weeks, he would miss the assignments when they were over. “Some parts were more difficult than others. I enjoyed watching the videos and solving the clues with the decoder ring. I also enjoyed the weekly math and bonus challenges. The hardest part was figuring out the riddle. I needed help from my whole family (to do that),” Briggs said.
“I was so proud of Briggs and all the kids, and so thankful for this opportunity for them to learn how persistence can pay off,” Travis said. And with respect to Lisa’s help and diligence, Dad said, “Moms just rarely get to see the fruit of their labor pay off in such a sudden and exciting way!” The payoff, in Briggs’ case, was the key to a safety deposit box at a local bank, and in it was $20,000 cash.
A new adventure is revealed three times per year in the spring, summer, and fall. To learn more about Brain Chase and the next adventure, visit www.brainchase.com. To register for the summer program, “The Mask of Tomoe Gozen,” go to www.brainchase.com/register.
To watch the video with Briggs and his family about the adventure, go to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DtHibzY4RQ