The Tompkins Academic Decathlon team competed in the Regional Tournament on Feb. 8 and 9 at Seven Lakes High School and qualified for the state competition which will be held on March 7-10 in San Antonio.
Academic Decathlon is a 5.0 pre-AP humanities course. The students who take this course are nationally assigned one topic to study through ten different domains, which include Math, Science, Economics, Social Science, Music, Art, Literature, Essay, Speech and Interview and participate in competitions using their knowledge. Senior Noor Gulrajani is in her second year of being in Academic Decathlon and is one of the students who qualified for state.
“Although this is my second time qualifying for state, it feels different because our team is more prepared and I am really excited to show the judges at state how much we have grown over this past year,” said Gulrajani.
Coaches Dax Nesossi and Courtney Cherry work with students and other teachers to coach this team to success. Students work through knowing eight different spiral books worth of information. Additionally, they work with different teachers in the school to help them understand and learn more about certain domains.
“What is important about the way we prepare students is that we coach them by giving them the material to study and then guide them through their learning process,” said Nesossi.
Gulrajani has been preparing by reading through the material and reinforcing the information by doing practice games. She meets up with her team after school for practice and outside of school to study. She enjoys this learning strategy as it allows her to absorb all of the material while having fun.
“As a team, we spend so much time studying together that it is it feels like we are a family, so qualifying for state made me excited that our hard work has paid off but it also made me realize that there is so much more in store for us,” said Gulrajani.
The following students earned medals in the regional meet.
Graham Brown: Gold in Interview and Economics
Bianca Chen: Bronze in Math and Art
Carly Chen: Bronze in Essay
Paul Davis: Bronze in Music
The following students advanced to the state tournament.