The Laramie High School academic decathlon team will be competing at this year’s nationals in Frisco, TX, this week after getting second place at State.

The theme for the 2017-2018 academic decathlon is Africa.

The team is made up of three ‘A’ or Honor Students (with a GPA from 3.750 to 4.00), who are junior Caitlin Huang, sophomore Aru Nair, and freshman Harlie Kaligis; two ‘B’ or Scholastic Students (with a GPA from 3.00 to 3.749), who are senior Marisela Sanchez and junior Dillon Markle; and two ‘C’ or Varsity students (with a GPA from 0.00 to 2.999), who are sophomores Carlos Franco and Marygrace Buckner.

The team meets every day at lunch.

There are ten events in the decathlon. Seven are multiple choice exams in the subjects of Art, Economics, Literature, Music, Science, Mathematics, and Social Science. Each of these is made up of 50 questions, except for Mathematics, which is made up of 35.

The other three events are an essay exam, a speech event, and an interview event.

The Science curriculum will cover infectious diseases, with an emphasis on diseases that have had a significant impact on Africa.

The Economics curriculum will cover fundamental economics concepts, microeconomics, and macroeconomics, and a thematic section on African economic history and development.

The Literature curriculum will include critical reading, one long work of literature (Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe), and selected shorter works.

The Music curriculum will provide an introduction to the music of Africa.

The Art curriculum will focus on African art.

The Mathematics curriculum will cover general mathematics, geometry, and an introduction to differential calculus.

The Social Science curriculum will provide an introduction to the history of Africa, with an emphasis on West Africa.

“We were only meeting one to two days a week before State, now we’ve been meeting everyday,” said English teacher and academic decathlon coach Emily Lamont. “We’re working a lot harder.”

According to Lamont, it’s been hard to keep the team together. Several people have dropped and decided they weren’t going to do it anymore. This makes Lamont especially proud of those who’ve committed to the club. ”For them to come together and like commit to it is pretty awesome,” she said.

“The team that won from Wheatland, they have a class that is called Academic Decathlon Class, and they go to that class every single day so of course they won because they study it every single day,” Lamont said. “The fact that they got second was great.”

Lamont said she doesn’t know what to expect from Nationals. “It’s gonna be intense, a lot more intense than State competition was,” she said. “I know there are schools out there that eat, live, and breathe academic decathlon.”