Dawgs dominate at meet

Academic+teams+are+composed+of+students+from+all+grades+and+all+students+are+encouraged+to+try+out+these+competitions.+Most+events+have+an+individual+competition+as+well+as+a+team+competition.%0A
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Dawgs dominate at meet

Academic teams are composed of students from all grades and all students are encouraged to try out these competitions. Most events have an individual competition as well as a team competition.

Academic teams are composed of students from all grades and all students are encouraged to try out these competitions. Most events have an individual competition as well as a team competition.

Photo by: Peter Dang

Academic teams are composed of students from all grades and all students are encouraged to try out these competitions. Most events have an individual competition as well as a team competition.

Photo by: Peter Dang

Photo by: Peter Dang

Academic teams are composed of students from all grades and all students are encouraged to try out these competitions. Most events have an individual competition as well as a team competition.

Peter Dang, Editor-In-Chief

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For most people, athletics comes to mind first when hearing the three letters UIL, but UIL includes much more than just athletics.

UIL, or University Interscholastic League,  is an inter-school organization for Texas schools to compete against one another. Competitions range many different disciplines, including athletics, fine arts and academics. Bowie has historically had high rates of involvement in athletics and fine arts, but academics is growing.

“The talented students really drive the team,” UIL Ready Writing coach Jacob Morgan said. “They are great students, they’re creative, and they impress me.”

Academic teams are composed of students from all grades and all students are encouraged to try out these competitions. Most events have an individual competition as well as a team competition.

“The students all are in different grades but they have the book in common and the team spirit in common,” UIL Social Studies coach Melanie Hirschfeld said. “There is not animosity or competitiveness, they realize their scores are for the greater good.”

UIL academic teams meet before school, during FIT, during class, or after school to practice their skills and to prepare for competitions. Like other extracurriculars, students must dedicate themselves and their time.

“It takes only a couple students who are willing to read a book and do the research on top of their school demands, jobs and life, to show up at high schools around central Texas on Saturdays to compete,” Hirschfeld said.

Teamwork is one thing in common that these teams share. Students work together to help each other do the best they can because the goal of competitions is to perform well as a team as well as individually.

“The students, they help each other a lot. I notice sometimes on one part of the test one student struggles and another student gets it and they will work together to learn about the problems they are having a hard time with,” Vance said. “It’s great to see them helping each other’s strengths and weaknesses.”

UIL Ready Writing

In UIL Ready Writing, students are given a quote as inspiration and they have two hours to write an essay based off of the inspiration given. It is graded based on creativity, originality and writing conventions, unlike many other UIL academic competitions, which are tests.

“This event is creative so it is harder to prepare for than other events,” Morgan said. “We will write sample essays and I will read them and help them improve.”

Senior Emily Leeke developed her deep love for writing based on the creativity it affords her.

UIL Accounting

“When I was little, I used to run around the house and make my parents listen to stories or songs,” Leeke said. “Ready writing is so open, it’s fun being able to write about whatever I feel like. It’s like I’m writing something for fun when I was little.”

I hope that this program is a reflection of Bowie’s social studies team. I hope academic UIL can be a source of pride for students and staff.”

— Melanie Hirschfeld

The UIL Accounting team consists mostly of accounting students who have the advantage of preparing together in class. This has helped them be competitive at meets like the district meet, at which the team swept the top three spots and won the team competition on March 30.

“Coaching UIL accounting has been great, there are a lot of kids who are good at math and puzzles,” UIL accounting coach Jennifer Vance said. “They take practice tests and see how well they do.”

The UIL Accounting competition is an 80 question test that is one hour long. It is designed to be as challenging as possible to find out who the best at accounting is.

“The test is very hard,” Vance said. “It was designed so that no one can make a perfect score.”

Another reason that students are attracted to UIL academics is because of the intricacies that help them expand their minds.

“Accounting can be very puzzling,” Esaka said. “But it is very rewarding after finishing it because every time there is a new challenge.”

UIL Social Studies

The UIL Social Studies event consists of a 45 question test and an essay over one topic. The test is objective and the essay is objective and subjective. Each year the topic covered changes, this year the topic is the United States civil rights movement.

“The questions are very specific,” senior Shane Valentine said. “Sometimes the questions ask about a very minute detail in the person’s life that you might overlook.”

For students like Valentine, UIL academics provides another chance to do what they enjoy.

“The questions can be tough, but learning the material was fun,” Valentine said. “It covers a lot of topics and it has been really interesting to learn more outside of class. I really love social studies”

The team dynamic of the UIL Social Studies team includes leadership, with students who have more experience students helping less experienced students.

“Some people look up to me on the team a little bit,” Valentine said. “There might be a little more pressure on me to do well since I am a senior and this is my second year doing this.”

As a School

These UIL programs are a result of Bowie’s academic departments and the work that teachers and students put in to their education.

“I hope that this program is a reflection of Bowie’s social studies team,” Hirschfeld said. “I hope academic UIL can be a source of pride for students and staff.”

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