FAIRFIELD — All that stood between several dozen academic athletes and the state competition was 36 questions Saturday at the North Bay Region Academic Decathlon.
The culmination of two weekends of competition, Saturday’s events at Green Valley Middle School included seven tests in the Arena Testing phase of the competition and ended with the Super Quiz Team Relay.
Ken Scarberry, Director of Youth Development for the Solano County Office of Education, said the teams from schools across the region, including all four Fairfield high schools, completed the communicative tests last week with the speech, interview and expository essay parts of the competition.
Saturday, each team of either six or nine students split into groups of three for three rounds of a dozen questions each.
“There are three groups, Honors, the kids with an A-average, Scholastic (C average or better) and what is the heart and soul of the competition, the Varsity kids (C or below),” Scarberry said. “The whole point of Academic Decathlon is to bring those three grade levels together to form a team and work together.”
In the Super Quiz Relay, the quizmaster asked multiple-choice questions on varying subjects including genetics, literature and history.
Each team of three, seated with a proctor, then had seven seconds to answer the question.
Each team member had a remote device to select the answer. The teams were scored by how many correct answers they had among their members.
The different rounds all started with a practice question, to help the students get used to the new wireless answering system.
“For the first time in the state, we’re piloting these automated systems,” Scarberry said. “It was perfect. The kids were exact. There’s no room for any error.”
Once the correct answer was shown on the screen, each table held aloft a number showing how many correct answers it had, eliciting cheers from their teammates in the bleachers.
Results were not available Saturday night, but Scarberry said the competition decides who moves on to the state competition.
“This is kind of like the final all-star competition of all they studied for,” he said.
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