Manogue’s Skill-Building Academic Teams


Picture last year’s Science Bowl Team in Las Vegas at the competition.

Sean Sedlak, Staff Reporter

Science Bowl and Academic team are two academic activities you have probably heard about but may not really know much about. So what are they? Mrs. Smith (these teams’ coach this year)  describes them as being like the “fun quiz games” we play “in class”. She just says the difference is just “you’re competing against other schools.” Now the difference within these two teams is that Science Bowl is comprised of scientific and mathematical domains and  Academic Team consists of all disciplines of knowledge: “…literature, history, geography, fine arts, visual arts, all sorts of different things including math and science…” In conclusion, these teams are fun academic outlets that range within a variety of types of knowledge and are designed for anyone who wants to take part in them to do so. So why don’t more kids engage more in these teams if they are such fun? 


Picture of last year’s Science Bowl Team in Las Vegas at the competition (courtesy of Danielle Smith).

The main reason many students don’t participate in these teams is because of the false notion that they are not smart enough to be on one of these teams and worried about time commitments. To clear this massive fog of misconception, Mrs. Smith states that “ you don’t have to be a genius” to be on these teams. In blatant terms, you don’t have to be crazy smart or a walking dictionary to be a member to be able to take part in one of these teams. Meaning, if you simply want to have fun learning about new things in a fun way, you shouldn’t let the fear of inadequacy hold you back from joining. This doesn’t mean that these teams are for messing around as they will challenge students to gain more knowledge of things around them. But if you want to have fun and are up to the challenge you should come out and try it.  Now if you still can’t supersede the fear of adequateness, you shouldn’t worry because Mrs. Smith says that “…you might have some skills and content knowledge that you might not even be aware of that somebody else doesn’t have.” that might just let your team win. Knowing even just one bizarre fact could mean the difference in a close competition. And oftentimes students are “surprised by how much [they] actually know.” whether it be something they learned in school, outside, or even in a book as according to Mrs. Smith. In all, these teams provide a fun academic outlet that anyone who may like having fun learning should come out and do.

Picture of last year’s members of the Academic Team eating cake at their team party (courtesy of Danielle Smith).

In terms of commitment, these teams do practice to get ready for competitions as do other teams. These practices are truthful really fun and you learn so much every time you have a practice. Now if you are worried about it conflicting with something else I would simply as Mrs. Smith what she thinks to see if you can legalistically do one of these teams. Other than that, if you have the time and are interested in why not come out and try them and maybe you might just fall in love. Mrs. Smith’s favorite part of these teams is in fact when she sees students that may not necessarily excel in anything else come out to these teams and find something they can excel in that they may never even considered doing.

In all, you don’t have to deem yourself smart enough to be on one of these teams. Now they are academic activities, meaning they aren’t for tacking each other or messing around but learning,  but if you are looking to learn new things in a fun way with other students these teams were made for you. And through the way, you may just fall in love with learning new things, and even more, you may just learn more about yourself than you ever knew.