Seven Faculty Help Area High School Students with Texas Academic Decathlon Competition Prep

November 18, 2021

Miguel Cortinas presents on water and art for the studentsUIW is proud to partner with the Texas Academic Decathlon for its upcoming competition to be hosted at the University in February 2022. Seven UIW faculty members – Miguel Cortinas (associate professor, Art), Dr. Laura Cannon (assistant professor, Social Studies), Phil Arévalo (lecturer, Literature), Dr. Kevin Salfen (assistant dean/professor, Music), Dr. Taylor Collins (coordinator, Economics), Dr. Jake Hammons (faculty, Mathematics), and Dr. John Hooker (faculty, Science) – assisted the Texas Academic Decathlon team from Travis Early College High School (TECHS) in preparing for the state academic decathlon competition.

“This was a good session, and we learned a lot about the different topics,” said Julio Castillejo, TECHS Decathlon head coach. “As a high school Physics teacher, learning about the different subjects will help me teach the topic to my team.”

The theme for the 2022 Academic Decathlon competition is "Water, a Most Essential Resource." The seven faculty members met with Castillejo and 11 of his team members, working with them to relate their individual disciplines to the theme during the training event.

Following the science presentation with Hooker, the students went to the Blue Hole, a natural spring found in the Headwaters Sanctuary, located adjacent to the UIW campus, where they continued discussing water as a resource.

UIW will host the Texas Academic Decathlon competition from Feb. 25-27. Three-hundred and sixty high school students, representing 40 teams, and their coaches will participate in the annual competition.

The Texas Academic Decathlon is a high school competition composed of teams of nine students who compete individually in seven different disciplines (art, music, mathematics, science, economics, social science and literature). Students also present two speeches (one prepared and one extemporary), participate in an interview, and compete together as a team in the Super Quiz. Students compete against other students at their own level. Teams that win the state competition represent Texas in the national competition – the U.S. Academic Decathlon.