Saratoga Springs Academic Team to compete in Windy City

The Saratoga Springs High School Academic Team is gearing upfor a national competition.

The Saratoga Springs High School Academic Team is gearing upfor a national competition.

Left to right in the front row are J.D. Towers, FelixGlozman, George Kaplan and Sophie Breitbart. In the back row, left to right,are Allison Carswell, Theo Sullivan (captain), and Sam Hyatt.

Could you score a 20 or 30 percent on a fill-in-the-blank test?

It sounds relatively easy, but actually that is the required minimum score for students at Saratoga Springs High School who want to join the school’s academic team. This year’s team placed first in the Glens Falls Post-Star Academic Bowl, which involved 23 teams from eight area school districts.

The 2012 National Academic Championship will mark the third consecutive year the Saratoga Springs High School Academic Team will be headedto a national competition. The competition format is Jeopardy-style, with aseries of answers given in the form of a question. And yes, buzzers are involved.

The qualifying tests cover a range of topics, mostly in math and science. Team coach Alicia Silver, who also teaches Latin, says about those qualifying tests, “Once we’ve gotten the tests back we evaluate each student and call them back for auditions.”

Usually, auditions are held after Memorial Day, and before school breaks for summer.

This year’s team is made up of nine members: Captain TheoSullivan, Sam Hyatt, Felix Glozman, George Kaplan, Sophie Breitbart, AllisonCarswell, Devan Stegman, Jonah Williams and J.D. Towers.

“It’s not hard to get interest in the team. Most students whoare strong academically will show interest and seek out joining,” said Silver.

Strengths for this year’s team, according to Silver, are in the areas of history, science, math, geography, current events and politics. Perhaps their only weaknesses lie in the arts, but the team is making efforts to be competitive in that area as well.

Silver also said that the school is always trying to findacademic bowls for students to participate in, and donations are needed forthis year’s team to travel to Chicago for the academic adventure. The totalcost is approximately $10,000, including airfare.

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