AcaDeca recruits new members, confirm water as upcoming theme

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Photo courtesy of Aghigh Banitaba.

Defne Onal staff writer 

The Academic Decathlon (AcaDeca) team is recruiting members for next year. Although having had trouble with recruiting “varsity” members in time for the upcoming competition season in previous years, AcaDeca has upped its campaigning with promotional videos and flyers. 

In order for AcaDeca to compete, the team needs to have three members of each level based on an unweighted GPA: honor, students with a GPA of 3.8 or higher; scholastic, students with a GPA of 3.20 to 3.799; and varsity, students with a GPA under 3.199.

“We first set a date for our orientation, then made a flyer about AcaDeca which includes our theme for next year, date of orientation, and how to join,” AcaDeca president junior Aghigh Banitaba said. 

The orientation was on April 28 where members did a presentation to incoming freshman and high school students about what AcaDeca is and how to study for it. 

Students get the chance to join until the beginning of the school year. However, according to Banitaba, joining before “summer is a big advantage”. After the orientation, AcaDeca contacts prospective members about an interview/introduction meeting. This is an effort to get to know the students and give them more information. 

“We start promoting our skills in the summer, and we start doing scrimmages and competitions in the fall. Recruitment continues on… until the fall. You pretty much have to have your schedule set right,” club sponsor Ann-Marie Fine said. 

 According to Fine, the theme of water for next year is “exciting in a different way” because there is potential for integration and outreach throughout the entire school. 

[Alice] Roh is very excited about this theme because it can be integrated very easily into her AP Human Geography course. There’s a whole unit on climate there,” Fine said. “I’ve reached out to a number of teachers about integrating guest lecturers. [John] Castle… is excited to not only integrate that into his classroom but also give back to us.” 

The theme of water is exciting for Banitaba since it has many “different components” such as water painting and science, people are bound to be “interested”.

“I’m really excited for the marine biology unit,”  junior B’anwi Fomukong said. 

AcaDeca presents opportunities for students to explore topics that are not in the curriculum, which will be an ongoing trend while exploring the topic of water. 

“I see a huge potential for our entire school to actually work this and be more interdisciplinary,” Fine said. “I’m very excited about it.” 

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