Academic Decathlon

Konnor Woodburn, Sports Editor

They have long practices, plenty of competition, and tons of hard work put in. No, they aren’t the basketball team, they’re Academic Decathlon. This group of hardworking students competes in many different competitions each school year, the next of which is the state competition.

After their region competition several weeks ago, our Academic Decathlon team came home with a well earned 1st place in the large school division, and 2nd place overall. The team performed excellently, with member Nate Hansen coming in 1st with a total of 7495.1 points, an impressive score at this point in the season. The region competition went well for Bingham, ending with a grand total of 34,830.4 points, second only to Da Vinci Academy of Science, who had a score of 36,195.1 points.

Academic Decathlon is a team that many people don’t know about. It isn’t advertised as much as some other groups, so not as much is known about it. When asked what he enjoys the most about Academic Decathlon, team member Nate Hansen said, “I enjoy learning for the sake of learning. That’s the whole reason I decided to do it.”  It generally appeals to certain groups of people and requires a certain preference. Nate Hansen said, “It’s one of those things you have to have a taste for.” It consists of taking multiple tests, which are then graded and form your score.

It takes a motivated student to be able to succeed in this type of competition. Team coach Mr. Barton said, “The self directed and self motivated [students] are the ones that really succeed well.” Despite what has been conveyed through tv and other media, academic decathlon isn’t just for the students who are really good in school. It  can be for other students too, even the ones who aren’t the best students in class. Mr. Barton said, “This is an opportunity for them [ the students ] to experience some academic success and show what they’re worth.” It gives the team members a forum outside of school to test themselves and prove their knowledge, not just to themselves or their team, but to colleges and people from across the state as well.

Plenty of studying is required to be prepared for their competitions.The students teach each other the concepts that are needed, and this increases the comradery between the team members. They have practices every week and work hard to be ready for each competition. It would be a great place to gather some new skills, meet some new people, and get better at what you already know. Mr. Barton said, “We’re looking to help kids become better at what they do.”

The state competition is coming up on March 3-5, so if you know any Academic Decathlon members, wish them good luck. If you don’t, now might be a good time to meet one. The Academic Decathlon team is a great place to learn, and it would be an educational and enlightening experience to participate in.