Going for the Gold Again: Academic Decathlon Returns to Columbus High School
Updated: Sep 24, 2021
A returning extracurricular activity is on the horizon at Columbus High School. Academic Decathlon is gearing up for this school year, and here’s all there is to know about the team.
Academic Decathlon is sponsored by CHS’ magnet coordinator—Ms. Hood—who has been coaching the team since 2010, but will be passing the torch to Honors Chemistry and AP Environmental Science teacher, Mr. Morgan.
For those who are familiar with academic bowl from middle school, the competitions are structured differently from those of Academic Decathlon, Hood reveals.
“All 9 students prepare and participate in all ten individual events and compete as team subdivisions in the Super Quiz,” she begins.
“The events include seven objective tests (scantrons) on the following areas as they relate to that year’s theme: art, music, math, science, social science, literature, and economics,” she adds. “The other 3 individual event scores are essay, speech, and interview.”
This year’s theme that Hood refers to is “Water: An Essential Resource.” All areas except math will relate to that theme.
The MCSD Academic Decathlon competition is scheduled to be held in January, the State competition for February, and Nationals for April.
To get ready for these competitions, Hood warns that preparation can be intense, but still fun.
“I can bog you down with page numbers and such, but there are 7 packets to read (or skim) and a novel. In a typical year, once [the Academic Decathlon team] [gets] the packets, we start going through them with about 2 weeks per packet,” she adds.
Some methods of preparation have been altered to adhere to COVID-19 safety protocols, including zoom meetings and Hank Green’s “Crash Course” videos, Hood reports.
Hood calls this school year a “recovery and rebuilding year” for Academic Decathlon. When Muscogee County School District was shut down last year due to the novel Coronavirus, the team was on the road to the national competition. Now, there is only one student returning from last school year: senior Bennett Stoltz.
So, for students who were undaunted by the promise of rigorous preparation, there was plenty of room for new members to join.
Academic Decathlon, according to Hood, is “an opportunity for all students to practice and hangout and find success!”