By Adrianna Woodruff
Teacher, Unalakleet Schools
On January 22 and 23, twenty-eight Bering Strait School District students met in Unalakleet to compete in ten academic categories relating to this year’s topic: Russia. Academic Decathlon is an annual high school competition that focuses on the study of one topic per year from multiple content area angles. The ten tested events require the study of the pre-determined topic in many academic forms as well as tackling Boris Pasternak’s lengthy novel Dr. Zhivago.
Over the two-day period, students completed seven multiple-choice tests, assessing their knowledge in the areas of math, economics, language and literature, social science, art, music, and science. Students also wrote one timed essay, and completed two interview and speech events. The quiz bowl event – known as the Super Quiz is a multiple choice event finale. This year, the Super Quiz tested students’ knowledge in all of the content areas.
Previous Academic Decathlon topics have included The Great Depression (2009-2010) and The Age of Empire (2010-2011). I know the question on my mind and many student minds is what’s next year’s topic?
Over the course of many months students studied selected art slides, memorized composers of selected songs, learned about the space race, put up with the obscurities of Russian novelists all in order to win medals in each competitive category.
The top three decathletes in each category – Honors, Scholastic, and Varsity- will travel to Anchorage February 14-16 to compete in the state competition.
Honors: Nilson Mixsooke (UNK), Colin Corsetti (UNK), Svea Southall (UNK)
Scholastic: Talon Erickson (UNK), Laurel Katchatag (UNK), Allison Topkok (TLA)
Varsity: Nellie Okpowruk (SHH), Mariah Washington (WBB), Camille Katcheak (WBB)
Alternates: Morgon Lockwood (WBB), Molly Moses (GLV), Esau Sinnok (SHH)