Xtreme Rat Challenge enters 47th year

  • Student with rat
  • Student with rat

For nearly five decades, Nebraska Wesleyan students and their rats have had the chance to win gold medals. Students taking the psychology class Basic Learning Principles spend the semester training their beloved rats to rope climb, lever press, walk the tight rope, long jump, wall climb, jump hurdles and compete in a warrior rat dash. This year's Xtreme Rat Challenge will be held on Tuesday, November 22 from 2:30-4 p.m. on the second floor of the Acklie Hall of Science.  

Rat challenge student image

Over the years, the event has been featured in Sports Illustrated, ESPN, Late Show With David Letterman, the History Channel, Discovery Channel and more. Former psychology professor Marty Klein started the event, calling it the “Rat Olympics.” In 2003 the United States Olympic Committee threatened a lawsuit against the university for use of the word “Olympics” and NWU responded with a national naming contest that resulted in Xtreme Rat Challenge.

Whether you like rats or not, the Xtreme Rat Challenge offers students the ability to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real life situations. 

This event is free and open to the public.