Welcome to Casteel H.S. Academic Decathlon"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit." -AristotleThe U.S. Academic Decathlon® is excited to announce that the overall curricular theme for 2019-2020 will be In Sickness and In Health. Students study and compete in 7 subject areas: art, economics, language & literature, math, music, social studies, and science, and compete in 3 performance events: essay, interview, and speech.What is Academic Decathlon?
“Academic Decathlon® is about daring to push your limits, to master college-level material and to practice skills, like public speaking, that might be wholly new to you. It’s about the people you’ll meet along the way – the coaches who will mentor you, the competitors who will challenge you, and the teammates who will become your lifelong friends.”
– Dr. Les Martisko, United States Academic Decathlon Administrator
CCHS Academic Decathlon Coaches:Mrs. Sheila Wilson: Wilson.Sheila@cusd80.comMr. Taylor Kerby: Kerby.Taylor@cusd80.comPlease contact Mr. Kerby (J105) or Mrs. Wilson (Sci Lab 8) if you are interested in becoming a decathlete or if you are a parent who would like to volunteer to judge performance events at the competitions, host a study session at your home, or make goodie bags for decathletes on competition days. We truly appreciate your support for our program!
Academic Decathlon® is about the people you’ll meet along the way—the coaches who will mentor you, the competitors who will challenge you, and the teammates who will become your lifelong friends.
There are lots of wonderful academic competitions out there. You can go prove you’re the best writer, or the best physicist, or the best speller.
Academic Decathlon® isn’t about any of that, though. It’s not about demonstrating how good a student you already are. It’s about daring to push your limits, to master college-level material and to practice skills, like public speaking, that might be wholly new to you. It’s about the people you’ll meet along the way—the coaches who will mentor you, the competitors who will challenge you, and the teammates who will become your lifelong friends.
My daughter competed in Academic Decathlon® at three different schools in two states. At one school, she started the team herself, recruiting a teacher and her friends to give the program a try. At another, she joined a team with a long tradition. Both times, I watched her and her teammates share an incredible experience, navigating the challenges of teamwork, leadership, and time management. No other activity, she later said, better prepared her for university.
As Decathletes, you’ll learn an exciting new theme each year, themes like Russia, World War I, and New Alternatives in Energy: Ingenuity and Innovation. You’ll explore seven subjects connected to that theme, from art and science to math and economics. You’ll learn to move an audience not just with facts and rhetoric, but with confidence. And you’ll never do any of this alone. You’ll be working with a team—a team composed of students with a wide range of grades but a single shared goal.
You should join the Academic Decathlon® not because that goal will be easy to achieve, but because it will be hard. You and your teammates may study more than you ever have before, not knowing whether you will take home ten medals each—or none at all. The philosopher Mortimer Adler once wrote, “It is only by struggling with difficult books, books over one's head, that anyone learns to read.” I invite you to become part of a program that you may think is over your head, until you realize you can reach higher as a team. I invite you to struggle. And I invite you to learn—not just to read, but to understand; not just to win, but to lead.
Dr. Les Martisko
What You'll Learn
You’ll always learn something different. Each year, the Academic Decathlon® selects a new theme for teams all over the country to explore. The theme shapes an entire course of studies—and brings it all together. The more years you participate in Academic Decathlon®, the more themes you’ll master. And, since our curriculum team develops these themes with special attention to national content standards, you’ll find you’re becoming not just a more knowledgeable Academic Decathlete, but a stronger all-around student.
The theme for the 2017-2018 Academic Decathlon® is Africa.
The overall curricular theme for 2019–2020 will be In Sickness and In Health. Following is some general information on the topics in each of the subject areas.
- SCIENCE: The science topic will be the biology of Cancer.
- LITERATURE: The literature curriculum will include critical reading, one long work of literature, and selected shorter works. The long work of literature will be the novel Frandenstein by Mary Shelley for Decathlon and Fever 1793 by Laurie Halse Anderson for Pentathlon.
- ART: The art curriculum will be An Exploration of Illness & Wellness.
- MUSIC: The music curriculum theme will be 'Til Death Do Us Part: Mortality Made Musical.
- SOCIAL SCIENCE: The social science curriculum will cover the history of healthcare.
- ECONOMICS: The economics curriculum will cover fundamental economic concepts, microeconomics, and macroeconomics and will also include a thematic section on health economies.
- MATHEMATICS: The mathematics curriculum will cover algebra and trigonometry.
Please see the full subject area outlines for more details. Our team prepares approachable resource guides and helpful practice tests and other tools that you can use with your team to do your best on competition day.
What You'll Do On Competition Day
Academic Decathlon® isn’t about mastering a single event, but ten different skills and disciplines. Every Academic Decathlon® competition, whether it’s a local round in Omaha or the national finals in Honolulu, will follow the same multidisciplinary format.
Academic Decathlon® isn’t about mastering a single event, but ten different skills and disciplines.
You’ll deliver speeches, one on a topic of your choice and one on a topic you’ve never seen before.
You’ll write an essay demonstrating not just what you’ve learned but how powerfully you can argue an idea.
You’ll be interviewed by judges asking you thoughtful questions about your past experiences and your goals for the future.
You’ll take challenging exams in Art, Economics, Literature, Math, Music, Science, and Social Science.
And, at the exciting Super Quiz™, you and your teammates will take turns solving the most stimulating challenges of all from across every subject you’ve studied—while a live audience cheers you on.
Download a PowerPoint presentation featuring testimonials from USAD Alumni.
Alumni Testimonials Student Testimonial