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Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

The student news site of Portola High School

Portola Pilot

Academic Decathlon Teams Up for County-Wide Competition

Academic+Decathlon+Scholastic+participants+compete+in+the+Super+Quiz+at+Westminster+High+on+Feb.+3.+Students+wave+flags+to+signify+they+got+the+correct+answer+to+their+teams+cheering+on+the+bleachers.+%E2%80%9CThis+really+forces+you+to+celebrate+when+other+people+know+things%2C+and+that+should+be+exciting+for+everyone%2C%E2%80%9D+Academic+Decathlon+coach+Eric+Graham+said.
Camille Clement
Academic Decathlon Scholastic participants compete in the Super Quiz at Westminster High on Feb. 3. Students wave flags to signify they got the correct answer to their teams cheering on the bleachers. “This really forces you to celebrate when other people know things, and that should be exciting for everyone,” Academic Decathlon coach Eric Graham said.

Portola High students competed in the Orange County Academic Decathlon Objective Testing and Super Quiz at Westminster High on Feb. 3. Academic Decathlon members from 34 high schools took 30 minute tests on seven subjects: social science, art, literature, music, science, math and economics. Additionally, they were divided into Varsity, Scholastic and Honors groups based on their GPA to participate in the Super Quiz.

This year’s competition had a theme of technology, and students prepared by self-studying subject modules weekly, completing online quizzes and collaborating as a group, according to Academic Decathlon president and junior Danica Dagdag.

“I participate in Academic Decathlon because it’s fun for me,” Dagdag said. “I just like focusing on things that aren’t about school, like topics that interest me.”

Set in Westminster High’s gymnasium, the Super Quiz was a competitive event where students completed 14 questions from all of the subjects at random. After each question, participants waved checkered flags for their teammates to know they got the correct answer. Clad in group costumes on the bleachers, the teams cheered for each other with flags, banners and posters representing their schools.

“It helped me connect with a lot more upperclassmen because I got to meet some juniors and seniors on the team, and I had a great time working with them and competing,” Academic Decathlon team member and sophomore Suhaila Brundavanam said.

Similarly, Academic Decathlon coach and math teacher Eric Graham said that there is more to the competition than just winning; it builds students’ self-confidence and life skills with tasks like speeches and interviews. He said he also appreciates the sense of teamwork Academic Decathlon requires from participants, who can become better collaborators in the classroom.

“I hope my students are more self-aware,” Graham said. “I hope that they recognize that doing something for yourself is great, but doing something that helps others is way more important.”

Results are posted on Feb. 9, and students could have the opportunity to participate in the State competition if they qualify, according to Graham. Although the team will not physically travel to Sacramento, those eligible can compete online in March. 

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About the Contributor
Camille Clement, Staff Writer
Camille Clement is a staff writer for her first year on the Portola Pilot. Through her work, she hopes to amplify voices in the community and inform her fellow bulldogs. In her freetime, she enjoys discovering new music and spending time with friends. When she’s resisting the urge to online shop, Camille’s usually playing with her dog or scouring Letterboxd for a new movie to obsess over. This year, she couldn’t be more ecstatic to join the Pilot and share the most intriguing stories with her peers.
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