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The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

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Acadec studies Chinese culture

The first student steps up to the microphone. The auditorium is packed full of people tense with anticipation. Cheering sections from different schools roar, and spirit banners fly.

This is no elementary school spelling bee, but educational competition of a higher standard. This is Academic Decathlon (Acadec).

The Acadec team is already learning outside of the classroom as well. They will attend a workshop at Fresno State University on Oct. 18 to study social science and music. Additionally they will travel to Bakersfield to attend a concert and lecture on Oct. 25. Speakers will help them focus on Chinese music.

Acadec is an elective class and meets fourth period everyday. The team members view this class differently and study in and out of the classroom.

?Besides the lectures and workshops, we are also given a bunch of packets that I read through and highlight the most important stuff,? Brittany Shaffer, ’09, said. ?They also give us note cards that have information that I study a couple hours a week.?

Participants learn hundreds of facts about different subjects from literature to art. This year the overall theme is China.

Nine students are divided into three sections by G.P.A. Students with a 2.99 or below are the Varsity, from 3.00 to 3.74 are Scholastic, and 3.75 and up is the Honors designation. The format of the competition varies by event.

Dr. Robert Peterson, the Superintendent of Schools for Orange County, founded Acadec in 1981. A unique organization, Acadec strives to motivate students to explore all academics have to offer. There are 10 events in all. The format includes essays, interviews and speeches.

Some benefits of Acadec include four units of college credit and receiving helpful instruction. Also, students gain depth in topics that are not taught in regular classes.

?The best thing about Acadec is that it offers areas of knowledge that most school don?t normally provide, ?Molly Sargent, Acadec coach, said. ?The team members learn so much and also receive training in speech, interview, and essay writing. It is a lot of work and a pretty big commitment but the payoff is huge.?

Although some may view Acadec only as a way to enhance their college resumes, it is a passion to others. Will Hierholzer, ’07, has been a part of Acadec for three years and has accumulated 13 medals. It also runs in his family. His sister, Anne (’05), participated in Acadec as well. Will has set high goals for this year.

?It?s my final year and I want to score 8,000 points, which would be the highest in school history,? Hierholzer said. ?As a team, this is the best I?ve ever seen.?

Acadec members also can earn four college units for participation in the class through California State University, Fresno.

Acadec will participate in the Fresno County Academic Decathlon Competition on Jan. 27 and Feb. 3.

For more information contact [email protected] or visit www.usad.org.

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    Mary HierholzerAug 26, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Performing on Great Day was so fun! I can’t wait for next year! Good job, everyone!