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Students Prepare for Top Educational Challenge

Academic Decathletes Prepare for Big Competition

Birds-eye-view of students testing in large room

On December 15, more than 400 students from Sacramento County and beyond gathered for a scholarly scrimmage.

Students armed with pencils, calculators, and a great deal of knowledge packed the University Ballroom at California State University, Sacramento for the Capital Region Academic Decathlon Scrimmage. The scrimmage was a practice competition that helped Academic Decathletes prepare for the 28th Annual Academic Decathlon competition.

The competition is scheduled for Saturday, February 2, 2008 at Valley High School in the Elk Grove Unified School District. The awards banquet is scheduled for February 6, 2008 at the California State University, Sacramento University Union Ballroom.

The theme for this year's main competition is "The Civil War."

"We had a record number of students taking part in this year's scrimmage," said Craig Irish, the Sacramento County coordinator for Academic Decathlon. "The scrimmage is an excellent warm-up exercise for the decathletes. It gives them a taste of what the big competition will be like."

The California Academic Decathlon is a statewide non-profit 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.

Students from 36 high schools participated in the 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.

Sacramento is hosting the 2008 California Academic Decathlon, which will be held March 7–10, 2008.

On Monday, December 10, the Sacramento County Office of Education (SCOE) hosted an art reception featuring graphic artwork submitted by students from across the county. The entry created by Sheldon High School senior Angela Zanotti (entitled "Lincoln's Proclamation") was selected to appear on the program, poster, and t-shirt promoting the 2008 Sacramento County Academic Decathlon. SCOE would like to thank all of the dedicated art teachers who submitted student artwork.

For more information about Academic Decathlon, call (916) 228-2660.

Closeup of two students taking test
Students testing
Closeup of student taking test