While many students often dread completing their homework, there are some who thrive in the academic environment, such as the 7th grade academic pentathlon team at Turlock Junior High School, which is composed of these study-ready students who recently took 2nd place in the county competition.
Composed of five different areas of which students are tested, including science, language arts, history, math and a part essay and part speech portion, the academic pentathlon introduces 7th and 8th grade students to an academically competitive environment that is based on their grade level curriculum. Weathering five months of practice and late night study sessions, the TJHS 7th grade team was the second smallest team that made a big impact at the 10th annual Stanislaus County Academic Pentathlon.
"I think it was our hard work, commitment and determination. Last year the team got 4th place and we wanted to do better and we did, and I think we were really happy about that," said team member Frances Haydock.
While the information on which students were tested was largely influenced by 7th grade standards, the competition takes learning to a new level as it induces students to think more complexly and in a high pressure environment.
"To prepare the students I made study guides, Power Point presentations and basically created competition simulations to practice what that test day pressure would be like," said Wes Taylor, academic pentathlon coach at TJHS.
The TJHS 7th graders volunteered their time to be a part of the academic pentathlon team which makes just 11 members of the 230 students in the county wide competition that is sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education, Omega Nu and the Education Foundation of Stanislaus County. On top of the second place award, the 7th grade team also earned nine individual medals ranging from gold, silver, and bronze, in the five competition areas.
Turlock Junior High 7th Grade Academic Pentathlon Team