"A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve not by the desire to beat others" ---Ayn Rand
ACE students in the Grove City School District participate in Academic Games that are sponsored by Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV. Over 28 schools from Mercer, Lawrence, Butler and Venango Counties participate in the games each year. Games are held at Slippery Rock University on the third floor of the Student Union Building. We have 6 different competitions a year. We belong to the national AGLOA organization (Academic Games League Of America). Their website, www.AGLOA.org, has helpful information about all the games we play.
Students are split into different divisions. Grades 3 and 4 are in the Elementary Division. Grades 5 and 6 are also in the Elementary Division. Grades 7 and 8 play in the Middle Division. Grades 9 and 10 play in the Junior Division. Grades 11 and 12 play in the Senior Division.
We play 6 games at the local level at SRU. If students have one individual or one team win at the local tournaments they qualify for the State Tournament held every year at Grove City College. If students have at least two individual wins or one individual win and one team win, they qualify for the National Academic Games Tournament held every year at the end of April. These tournaments are out of state, with the 2018 tournament being held in Knoxville, Tennessee April 26-May 1, 2018. 2019 will be held in Orlando, Florida, with 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.
What is Learned in an Academic Games Competition?
Mathematics, language arts, and social studies are the core subjects for the various games. Players often learn and apply important concepts in these subjects before they are learned in school. Strategy, in addition to knowledge, is a key component in each of the six Academic Games competitions. It is not enough to know the subject matter (though the more a player knows, the better the player will be). Players must also develop courage, character, and poise in applying their knowledge while competing against opponents.
The games played are:
This game is very valuable in teaching about spatial relationships. The mathematical content of the game is Set Theory. Players learn to create and describe sets of colored objects using Union, Intersection, Set Difference, Set Complement, the Universe, and the Null Set. The practical applications of this game are relevant to use of the internet. In researching a specific article on the Internet, a person finds the best articles by using a search engine and including information needed and restricting information that is not needed. This concept of narrowing down information to get exactly what one wants is highly developed in the game of On-Sets.
Each division level of competition introduces increasingly more difficult mathematical concepts for the players to use by adding age appropriate variations to the basic game. Players are challenged to use their mathematical knowledge and skills in increasingly creative ways and usually learn more from applying their knowledge in the competition than they do in their normal classroom studies.
While playing Propaganda, players learn to recognize techniques of persuasion that are often used by advertisers, politicians, editorial writers, and in normal human interaction. Players increase their ability to discern the truth from smokescreens; they learn to figure out the reality of situations rather than getting duped by the techniques. Players become critical thinkers.
Players on a team from a school spend a great deal of time studying together and exchanging ideas and notes as part of their learning experience.
Elementary Division (grades 4-6) questions are composed with easier language than for the Middle Division (grades 7-8). At the Junior and Senior Divisions (grades 9-12), players are exposed to visual propaganda, as well as verbal examples
LinguiSHTIK challenges players to improve their grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and writing skills. Players learn to compose better sentences with proper grammar application. They also use richer vocabulary as they compete against others and are rewarded.
All grade levels play with the same set of procedural rules. However, each division level of competition introduces increasingly more difficult grammatical concepts for the players to use. Competitors are challenged to enhance their vocabulary and grammar skills in increasingly creative ways. Players usually learn more from applying their knowledge in the competition than they do in their normal classroom studies.
Elementary Division (grades 3-6) players concentrate on the six basic parts of speech (noun, pronoun, verb, adjective, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection). They compose sentences ranging from Subject-Verb to Subject-Verb-Indirect Object-Direct Object. They learn to use a host of different functions, such as collective nouns, linking verbs, verbs of different tense. They also learn to incorporate different kinds of phrases and clauses in their sentences.
Middle Division (grades 7-8) players continue to use everything that is available to the Elementary Division. They also add on the ability to add on more complex sentences, such as objective complements, imperatives, and exclamatory sentences. The range of functions they may choose is also expanded to include, for instance, indefinite or relative pronouns, infinitives and participles and gerunds, transitive and intransitive verbs, and many other grammatical ideas.
Junior and Senior Division (grades 9-12) players have all that is available from the lower levels and also may incorporate additional strategies as they construct their sentences. Cases and tenses and complex clauses and phrases become strategies that lead to victories.
Presidents players learn about and develop an understanding of the personalities, historical contexts, political decisions, and other events of the Presidents of the United States of America.
Players learn how presidents developed personally and professionally, how they reacted to or changed the times in which they served, what types of families they came from, and how they were affected by the political climate surrounding them. Players also learn about other major events that may have happened during a presidential term. They learn to assimilate all of these different facts into a unified whole for a better understanding of how the United States government has worked in different historical times.
Players on a team from a school spend a great deal of time studying together and exchanging ideas and notes as part of their learning experience. They also learn to use data to draw conclusions.
Elementary Division (grades 4-6) questions are composed with easier language than for the Middle Division (grades 7-8). At the Junior and Senior Divisions (grades 9-12), the historical and political events are more demanding, plus the players are expected to know how other major
While preparing for and playing Theme, the players learn to research a particular historical theme that varies from year to year and to prepare notes and study materials about that theme. Examples of past themes include “Women in World History,” “The 1960’s,” “The American West,” and “Space Exploration.” Players learn how the events in the theme affected people at the time and how those issues still affect them today. The knowledge gained from playing Theme leads to more informed and responsible future citizens.
While preparing for and playing Current Events, players learn about the major political and cultural events of the most recent calendar year. They learn to be aware of what is happening to them, their country, and their world. The knowledge gained from playing Current Events leads to more informed and responsible future citizens.