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Students Stretch Their Mental Muscles

Academic Decathletes Prepare for Big Competition

Seated students taking practice exams

On December 9, nearly 350 students from the Sacramento County area and beyond gathered for a scholarly scrimmage.

Students armed with pencils, calculators, and a great deal of knowledge packed into a gymnasium at St. Francis High School in Sacramento for the Capital Region Academic Decathlon Scrimmage. The scrimmage was a practice competition that helped Academic Decathletes prepare for the 27th Annual Academic Decathlon competition. The competition day event is scheduled for Saturday, February 3, 2007, at Valley High School in the Elk Grove Unified School District. The awards banquet is scheduled for February 7, 2007, at the University Union ballroom on the campus of California State University, Sacramento.

"The scrimmage is a great warm-up exercise for students and it gives them a taste of what the big competition will be like," said Craig Irish, the Sacramento County coordinator for Academic Decathlon. "We were really pleased with the number of schools that took part in this year's scrimmage."

The California Academic Decathlon is a statewide nonprofit organization that promotes an educational experience providing a format in which teams of nine high school students compete in academic events. All California public and private high schools are eligible to compete.

Academic Decathlon teams spend months preparing for this demanding competition. In addition to mastering the extensive academic content, students learn about teamwork, goal-setting, planning, and leadership.

The theme of the 2007 Academic Decathlon competition is "China and Its Influence on the World."

Students from 38 high schools participated in the December 9th scrimmage, some from as far away as Kern County and Contra Costa County. During the scrimmage, students were tested on a number of subject areas, including mathematics, science, economics, language and literature, economics, social sciences, and music.

For more information about the Sacramento County Academic Decathlon contact Craig Irish: (916) 228-2660.

Students holding pencils during a practice exam
Student looking at test during practice exam