Academic Decathlon team endeavors for competitions

Giovanni Lopez

Crimson Chronicle Reporter

From meeting after school in previous years to now having a class during school hours, students in the Academic Decathlon course are preparing for their rigorous upcoming annual competition this Saturday.

“I’m nervous because this is my first competition but also excited,” said Danna Guzman, a SAS senior.

The Academic Decathlon is an annual competition made up of 10 events, three being subjective including: essay, interview and speech. The other seven objective events include: art, economics, language and literature, math, science music and social science. This year’s overall curricular theme for the events is water.  

“Bit nervous but I’m taking speech class and I think that’ll help me. This is my second year, the team is a bit smaller but I like it,” said Bryanna Bolanos, a SAS senior, as she readied to deliver one of her speeches. 

A “Super Quiz”  is also included where the team of participants takes turns solving difficult challenges from the subjects studied. It is said to be a very high stakes event. “It’s a very intense day of testing. Nothing compares that you’d ever see happen at a university,” said Lee Tuomala, the team coach and SAS science and physics teacher. 

As the teams competitions near, students are doing intensive reading, practicing quizzes, taking turns being judges, and practicing their speech. Students get only 30 minutes to complete a 50 question exam. Some lead themselves meanwhile others work in a group. 

“I really like it. It’s my second year and last year I did pretty well. The team is very small because of scheduling and counseling. We have a really small team but we’re doing the best we can,” said Belen Cruz, a SAS senior.

The Decathlon event is more of an endurance race than a sprint. The participants will find themselves developing better critical thinking and test-taking skills. The program also aims to promote the idea of working together to attain academic mastery. 

“I wanted to try something new so I ended up liking it. I’m passionate about it. I’ve been in it for two years. I like the coach,” said Elvia Almanza, a SAS senior.

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