PUHSD Students Compete in Academic Decathlon

Posted by Community Relations Department on 11/21/2012

Over 350 students from 12 Phoenix Union schools and five out-of-district schools competed in the 19th Annual Academic Decathlon District Tournament, November 9-10 at Maryvale High School.  The first event of the season is open to all Academic Decathlon Program members.  Academic Decathlon is the premier high school academic competition where students compete in 10 different events in both subjective (Speech, Interview, Essay) and objective (Mathematics, Economics, Art, Music, Social Science, Language & Literature, Science) areas.  Each year, United States Academic Decathlon determines a theme which most of the subject areas are focused on; this year’s theme:  Russia.


South Mountain won the overall team competition, followed by Boulder Creek, Maryvale and Cesar Chavez.


This is the first tournament of the school year, and it helps to both prepare all students for later tournaments and helps coaches select their “final nine” who will eventually compete at Regional Tournaments in February.  All of the teams at the district tournament will compete at one of the four Regional Tournaments in February, but only the top teams from each Regional Tournament will qualify for and compete at the State Tournament in March.

Another unique aspect of Academic Decathlon is the formation of Grade Point Average categories, which pits top GPA students (Honors) vs. top, above-average (Scholastics) vs. above-average, and average (Varsity) vs. average.  The team scores are calculated by taking the top two scores from each of the three GPA categories.  


“This is not a trivia contest.  The material has both breadth and depth; students who spend time vigorously studying this material are truly ready for college, as most of the curriculum is written by college professors or experts in the field of study,” South Mountain coach Todd Decker said.