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  • AMS Basha Academic Pentathlon

    A Record of Excellence


    We will not meet in July. We will start meetings in mid-August. Mrs. Wuthrich will have a meeting for all interested students soon. Parents and students can meet with Mrs. Wuthrich for a presentation and Q & A session during our AMS Open House on Thursday July 20th.

    If you are interested in joining AcPen for the 2023-20234 season, please fill out and submit the following Google form.

    2023-2024 AcPen Interest Form

    You can also email Mrs.Joann Wuthrich. Please include your student's name and grade when you email. Students can join at any time up until the state competition registration in February. 

    Coach: Mrs. Joann Wuthrich



    7th grade Nationals Champions, 8th Grade 1st Place in Runner Up Division, Top scoring 6th grade team placed 2nd in 7th grade Division.

    Region, State, and National Super Quiz Champions


    2022 Champs

    National Champions 2022

    National Champions, State Champions, Region Champions - 8th Grade Team -2022

    Top Score in Nation for 7th grade, 2nd in State, Region Champions 7th Grade Team - 2022

    State Champions, National Champions - 8th Grade Team - 2021

    State Champions, 3rd in Nation - 7th Grade Team - 2021

    National Champions 2021


    State Champions 2021            State Champions 2022

    Image preview  

    2023 8th grade State Runner-up, 7th grade State Champions & 7th Grade 3rd Place Teams

    Image preview 

    2023 6th grade State Champions & 6th grade Runner-up Teams

    2022-2023 AMS AcPen



    Coach: Mrs. Wuthrich

    AMS Basha welcomes any 6th, 7th and 8th graders who have an interest in Academics to join our very successful club and competitive team. 

    When do we meet?

    • Club Meeting Days: Tuesdays & Thursdays – 2:15 to 4:00 starting in mid-August (you can leave earlier if you need to). We will begin with two days a week and add days as the year progresses, culminating in everyday meetings by January to prepare to be state and national champions. I will be there every day starting in January. Students should come as often as possible, but do other activities and have lives, interests, and hobbies other than AcPen You get out of it what you put into it.

    • Meeting place TBA.

    • COMPETITION DATES for 2024 

    • Important Competition Dates (There are no makeup dates - students must be available on these dates. All competitions are during school hours. Students will be excused from classes. Teachers know that many of our students will miss classes and provide opportunities for work to be turned in early or late. Students are responsible for missed work.) 

    • Scrimmage – 5 Subject Area Tests Only .........................................................January 11, 2024 (Thursday) 

    • Essay for Regional Competition.....................................................................January 25, 2024 (Thursday) 

    • Regional Competition ................................................................................... February 15, 2024(Thursday) 

    • Essay for State Competition ......................................................................... March 7, 2024 (Thursday) 

    • State Competition .........................................................................................March 28, 2024 (Thursday)  

    • Essay for National Competition......................................................................April 18, 2024 (Thursday) 

    • National Competition, Phoenix, AZ, Invited and Individual............................May 16 - 18, 2024 (Thursday – Saturday) Tentative                        

      •  Online students will compete at Basha High School on the Friday of Nationals.

      • Following each of these competitions, there will be an in-person Super Quiz and Awards Ceremony for parents, families, and friends to attend. Please plan to join us for these. Your students' participation is considered mandatory as they are part of a team.

    We can expect to travel to a hotel/conference center somewhere in the Phoenix, AZ area on May 16 - 18, 2024 (tentative) to attend another 3 day National Championship Event!  

    Students attending nationals in the individual invited, runner-up, or champions bracket will stay in the hotel where the competition is being held.  


    Competition Format: 

    Subject              Description
    Fine Arts               50 question multiple-choice test (25 minutes) =1000 points
    Literature             35 question multiple-choice test (20 minutes) = 600 points                                                                                                                                                             +                                                  Essay:        40 minutes = 400 points          600 pt literature + 400 pt. Essay =1000 points combined literature score
    Mathematics       35 question multiple-choice test (30 minutes) = 1000 points
    Science                 50 question multiple-choice test (30 minutes) = 1000 points
    Social Science      50 question multiple-choice test (25 minutes) = 1000 points 

    5000 points possible per individual - individual medals awarded per subject based on individual scores. Overall medals are awarded for the top combined scores out of x/5000. (Usual top scorer is in the 3800-4300 range).

    30,000 points possible per team (sum of individual scores) - team trophies awarded for state/nationals top 3 teams, banners for national champion teams.

    Students can join at any time up until the state competition. However, those that spend their time studying throughout the year usually score higher. 


    Curriculum Announcement for 2023-2024:

       Humanity and Technology

    LITERATURE: The literature curriculum will include critical reading, one long work of
    literature, and selected shorter works. The long work of literature will be Cinder, by Marissa Meyer.

        ISBN-10: 1250768888 
    MATHEMATICS: The mathematics curriculum will cover general mathematics, geometry and an introduction to differential calculus.

    ART: The art curriculum will explore depicting or using technological advances.

    ▪ MUSIC: The music curriculum will present the music of science fiction film.

    SCIENCE: The science topic will be an introduction to neurology.

    SOCIAL SCIENCE: The social science topic will be the history of computers.

      • *All test questions will be derived from the USAP curriculum and resource guides. Critical thinking is key. It is not possible to only memorize material and score well. It is also not possible to never read the resource guides and score well.


    AcPen, as we affectionately call it, is a competition where students have the year to study specific materials under a unified curriculum and are then tested in a competition format. Much like swimming or track and field, there are 5 events (Math, Science, Social Studies, Literature and Fine Arts). Some students may be specialists. They can win medals in areas where their strengths lie. Others are true pentathletes and do well in all subjects. All students MUST compete in all 5 disciplines. They cannot pick and choose.  Like wrestling, they compete in weight divisions, with the weight being GPA levels. 

    Our three GPA groups are: 

    Honors:      3.8-4.0 unweighted 

    Scholastic: 3.2 -3.79 

    Varsity:       Any GPA below 3.19

    A team can only win with teammates in all three weight divisions. A full team consists of 3 honors, 3 scholastic and 3 varsity students.  This provides an opportunity for students who are academically interested, but for some reason, have B or C grades to succeed. It also shows students at a young age that grades are not necessarily an indicator of intelligence and that they should strive to work with other students at all levels. Students also experience that often the person with the highest GPA is not necessarily the smartest person in the room. I have been pleasantly surprised at how some of our "C" students have scored higher than many of the "A" students. This develops a tolerance for different talents in peers and a greater ability for collaboration.

    All students will need to acquire and read the following book: 

    Cinder by Marissa Meyer

       ISBN-10: 1250768888   


    Much like Battle of the Books, this should be read a few times to do well on the tests, but one reading will earn points for sure.

    Resource guides for the 2023-2024 season are posted in the Google Classroom. Please start reading them in your free time if possible. DO NOT SHARE these with anyone outside of AMS or their parents. We pay for a site license and are only authorized to use them within our own school. We also do not want to give any advantage to potential competitors. Do not share any of our study materials outside of our AMS team.

    We suggest you download these materials so that you can access them offline if necessary. Load them onto your phone, tablet, home computer, laptop and/or USB drive. I strongly encourage you to print the resource guides and put them in a binder with dividers for study; especially if you learn better on paper than electronically. Hard copies also give you a format where you can highlight important points for review right before a competition.  If you prefer digital format, I highly recommend that you highlight your PDF as you are reading and remember to save each time you close the file, so that the highlighting is saved and you can review key points, dates, words or ideas before a competition.

    This year we will be splitting up into study groups similar to what we did last year. There will be designated group leaders. Please let me know if you wish to be a group leader. There will be responsibilities associated with this position that will include reporting back to me. 

    I know this is a lot of information. Please ask any questions that you have. I am happy to answer what I can.  


    Fees - Tax Credit Eligible - Do not pay yet, pending set up for the 2023-2024 school year.

    There is a $45 fee that helps to pay for the curriculum that we purchase (found in the Google classroom) and the competition fees for each student. This $45 does NOT cover all Academic Pentathlon costs. For this reason, we ask families to donate generously as they are able using tax credit where it is possible.


    A $45 fee and permission slip signed by a parent are necessary to compete. Please pay the fee at the BHS Bookstore or online through the parent portal. This is a tax credit eligible fee. We encourage parents to make a tax credit donation to our Club using the tax credit program up to their eligible amount ($400 married filing jointly or $200 single, head of household or married filing individually). Please designate any donations including the $40 club fee and up to your eligible donation amount to AMS Basha Academic Pentathlon Club. Thank you!

     Payments accepted: 

    • Cash
    • Checks (made payable to Basha High School)
    • Debit/Credit (No AMEX) 









    Support our Academic Pentathlon Club with your Tax Donations!
    Arizona law ARS 43-1089.01 enables taxpayers a tax credit contribution of up to $400.00 per calendar year if filing status is Married, filing Joint Return; $200.00 per calendar year if filing status is Single or Head of Household; and, $200.00 per calendar year if filing status is Married filing separate return — for contributions that fund extracurricular activities in public schools. A tax credit is a full refund, not a deduction.
    Contributions eligible for a tax credit are donated directly to schools, not to the state or the school district.

    Matching Grant Programs

    • Many employers offer matching grant programs that can provide your students’ school clubs and teams with much needed funding.Please check with your employer HR department for matching grants. It only costs you some time. 

    This is the login for Intel Matching Grants.             https://intel.benevity.org/user/login