Beginning April 27th and continuing until May 1st, Seneca Valley will compete against schools from all over the United States in the Academic Games National Championships, which will be held in Knoxville, Tennessee.
When interviewed, Benaifer Sepai, a freshman participating in the games, shared the inside scoop on what the intellectual-Raiders can expect there. She said she and other team members will participate in, “Propaganda…, a game in which you guess the type of propaganda…, Lingui SHTICK, a grammar game where you have to form sentences using specific grammatical components… On-set, a strategy board game…, and Current Events, a trivia game on the past years’ events,” while other teammates will participate in WFF, a logic game, Theme, a themed current event game, Equations, a math board game, and Presidents, a presidential trivia game. These games, like most games, do contain an element of fun, but they still pose a challenge. Meeting that challenge can sometimes be difficult, so these students receive guidance.
According to Sepai, each school (elementary, middle, and high) has its own coach. In the high school, it is Mr. Stebbins, the Senior High librarian, who helped his students qualify for the upcoming nationals by meeting designated scores in past monthly tournaments. But his counsel can only take the students so far. Much of their success depends on the students themselves, and their own preparations. Sepai says she prepares by playing the games at home with her younger sister, quizzing herself, and completing packets containing relevant information.
“It’s really like studying for a test,” she claims, “…you really do have to work hard.” But that hard work doesn’t seem to make the competition less enjoyable. When asked how she’s feeling about nationals, this four-year veteran said, “I’m really excited, just because I know how fun it is, and it’s really awesome because you get the thrill of being able to compete without actually having to do physical work….” She went on to say that the games also allow students to bond with each other and their mentors, while simultaneously providing them with a sense of independence. Of course, it’s always nice to bring back something physical as well, like a Thinker—a trophy symbolizing academic achievement in the games.
Thinker or not, in a couple of weeks, the games are on.