Nebraska Academic Decathlon Program. USAD Mission Statement . The purpose of the United States Academic Decathlon is to develop and provide academic competitions, curriculum, and assessment to promote learning and academic excellence through teamwork among students of all achievement levels.
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The purpose of the United States Academic Decathlon is to develop and provide academic competitions, curriculum, and assessment to promote learning and academic excellence through teamwork among students of all achievement levels.
Created in 1968 by Dr. Robert Peterson, who believed student learning was accelerated and more information was retained if a team environment was provided for learners in conjunction with a competition to test their knowledge. His goal was to encourage large numbers of students, schools, and states to participate in this rigorous educational experience.
After the decathlon became a national
event, Nebraska became involved in 1983
when the Talented & Gifted Program of
Omaha Schools(OPS) ran the program for
its seven schools. After 3 years, OPS
decided it did not want to run a statewide
program. A new sponsor was needed.
After several educationally-based organizations
with a statewide mission refused to sponsor the
program, the Optimist Clubs agreed to handle the
task and convinced UNO to join them in a co-
sponsorship role. In 1995, Creighton University
joined the program as a co-sponsor. In 2000,
Creighton became the sole academic co-sponsor.
In order to operate the program, a non-profit
corporation(Nebraska Academic Decathlon, Inc)
was formed. No member of this company receives
a salary and the total work is on a voluntary basis.
Of the 40 state programs, Nebraska is the only
one where an all-volunteer force runs the program
without any state funds.
Based on the model of the athletic decathlon, AD requires participants to prepare for ten academic events. AD does not permit students to “specialize” but rather encourages academic versatility by requiring students to prepare for all ten events. AD stresses educational opportunity and academic excellence.
Academic Decathlon is a team competition wherein students match their intellects with students from other schools. Students are tested in ten categories:
*Art *Economics *Essay *Music
*Language & Literature *Mathematics
*Science *Interview *Social Science
*Speech (both prepared and impromptu)
Students are given 30 minutes to complete each of the multiple choice exams.
(Honor, Scholastic, Varsity) answer ten
questions. The rounds start with the Varsity
The Super Quiz topic will focus on curriculum
which examines various aspects of the Civil War.
The resource guide will include readings on such
topics as causes of the war, critical battles and
campaigns, the leadership of President Lincoln,
the role of slavery, the Emancipation Proclamation,
The language and literature curriculum will include critical reading, one novel and six shorter works. The featured novel will be
The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane.
The art curriculum topic will be the art of nineteen-
century America, and the curriculum will include the
study of eighteen selected artworks. The selected
artworks are located in many locations: National
Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum,
National Portrait Museum, Metropolitan Museum of
Art, and National Museum of American History.
The music curriculum will focus on the music of the
Civil War era. The Music Resource Guide will cover
such topics as public performances and private
amusements, music in African-American life, and
music of the conflict. The curriculum will include
a companion CD, featuring fourteen listening
The science curriculum will focus on the
transmission, treatment, and prevention
of infectious diseases. The Science
Resource Guide will include a case study
on disease and the Civil War.
The economics curriculum will focus on fundamentals
of economics, including general topics in macro-
economics, microeconomics, international trade and
global economic development. The economic
curriculum will also include a thematic section
focused on slavery and the economics of the U. S.
The math curriculum will cover topics in the fields of general math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and differential calculus.
various locations across the state.
At this level, schools of similar size compete against each
other. There are four size categories in Nebraska(Large,
Medium, Small, and Very Small). A Regular Team
composed of six members (two students from each
competitive level) and an Alternative Team of up to six
members (two students from each competitive level) can
participate. Regular Team members participate in all
seven events and the Alternate Team members participate
in six events. At this level, the Essay, Interview, and
Speech events are not held.
Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded for individual event winners in each division (Honor, Scholastic, and Varsity). All Regular Team members of
the first, second, and third placed teams
at the Regional and the two divisions at
the State Final earn a scholarship.
The Regular Team consists of six full-time students from 9th – 12th grades of the same high school. Each team is made up of two students from each competitive level. Each school is encouraged to have an Alternate Team of six
students. The GPA standards are:
Director of the Nebraska Academic Decathlon Program – call 402-498-0798 or email at: firstname.lastname@example.org