Throughout the school year, the Academic Team competes in tournaments to test their knowledge on topics like science, math, history, etc. Competing in these tournaments gives students a different and fun way to learn information.
The Academic Team is advised by Ms. Jaclyn Abruzzese and Ms. Rachel Reenstra. Ms. Abruzzese has been advising for 13 years, and this is Ms. Reenstra’s first year advising the team.
Tournaments happen on Tuesdays from 2:15pm to 9:00pm or 2:15pm to 7:15pm, depending on the tournament.
Eighteen students attend each competition. There are three teams with six people on each team. Four people compete with two substitutions, depending on the category. Each team is made according to grade and what skill students feel most strong in. A team captain is also assigned for each team that competes.
The Academic Team prepares for their tournaments by practicing with questions from prior years, and discuss strategies for each category. Each member of the team has to use what they learn in and out of school to prepare.
The team travels and competes in four to five away academic tournaments and two online versus other high schools.
These tournaments are usually in a Jeopardy format, and the categories vary between tournaments. Categories tested include science, math, history, geography, sports, literature, pop culture, and more.
There are 30 students on the Academic Team, composed of 10 upperclassmen and 20 underclassmen. Anyone in grades 9-12 is welcome to join the team.
The Academic Team will compete in the Bridgewater-Raritan Invitational Tournament of Excellence (BRITE) on Tuesday, January 30, 2018 from 2:15pm to 7:15pm at Bridgewater Raritan Middle School. The tournament is made up of three weeks of preliminary rounds, with the team facing a different school each week.
After a tournament, the team stops for dinner together to build up team camaraderie, which is highlight for all the team members.
Freshman Grace Lee says, “…[T]he Academic Team … give[s] students a sort of “team family” type of thing. It’s also a good way for them to make friends since they will be competing on a team.”
Students on the Academic Team are learning and understanding new information while having fun at the same time. By competing against other high schools, the students are testing the knowledge they learn in school and using it to participate in an invigorating tournament.
How do you think the tournaments help students improve and learn more?