Laramie High School’s Academic Decathlon team will be competing in Casper Wyo. for the state conference on March 18-19.

The topic of the decathlon this year is Africa and is encompassing the art, music, literature, math, science and social science of Africa.

“To prepare, we do a lot of practice questions. We create power points to teach each other about the topics,” senior Marisela Sanchez said.

The academic decathlon consists of five separate parts being a decathlon.

The first of these events consist of two speeches. One speech is on a topic of choice for the competitor and the other is a topic that the competitor has not seen before.

The second event is an essay which measures not only what the competitor has learned but how powerfully they can argue an idea.

Third is an interview with judges where they ask about a competitor’s experiences, goals and drives.

Forth is a set of challenge exams in the topics of art, economics, literature, math, science, music, and social science pertaining to the selected topic of that year.

The fifth and final event is the Super Quiz ™ Event which is what most think of when thinking of academic decathlon.

The super quiz is a quiz event where teams go face to face answering questions in front of a live audience.

Not all of the events however, will be completed the day of event. The essays will be written by competitors long before they compete in a proctored environment.

If a team places first or second in the state conference they advance to Nationals.

An academic decathlon team consists of members that are separated into three brackets by grade point average.

“Honors is 3.75 or higher below that is scholastic which is between 3.0 and 3.75 and then varsity which is anything below that,” Sanchez said.

The LHS academic decathlon team was started just this school year by LHS student Aru Nair and advisor Lamont.

The Laramie chapter of academic decathlon has only been meeting since around the end of Jan./ the start of Feb.

“I feel a bit prepared, I am nervous to compete but I feel a lot more prepared the more we practice,” Sanchez said.

With the addition of LHS there are only 6 schools that do academic decathlon in the state of Wyoming at the high school level.

These schools include Burns High School, Meeteetse High School, Riverton High School, Wheatland High School, and the Star Lane Center in Casper.

In the past year, Wheatland High School has taken the title of state champions in the academic decathlon.