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It’s Academic!

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A few of the It's Academic girls practicing for their next competition.

A few of the It's Academic girls practicing for their next competition.

Becca Behner '17

Becca Behner '17

A few of the It's Academic girls practicing for their next competition.

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Maryvale biology, biological anthropology, and forensic science teacher, Dr. O’Neil has been the It’s Academic coach for the past seventeen years. When asked to describe It’s Academic, she said,“It is a competition among ten Arch Diocese schools in which the students answer questions on different topics including pop culture, current events, history, mythology, science, art, literature, and many more.”

Senior Mya Buschman joined the It’s Academic club her freshman year. She, and many other students, signed up because they wanted to learn new and interesting facts about the world and compete against other schools. Maryvale joined the It’s Academic competition over twenty years ago. Our team competes in a league along with Notre Dame Preparatory School, Institute of Notre Dame, Catholic High School, Mount de Sales Academy, Mount Saint Joseph High School, Archbishop Curly High School, Calvert Hall College High School (Maryvale’s It’s Academic team’s biggest rival), Loyola Blakefield, and John Carroll School. These schools compete with one another throughout the school year roughly every five weeks with five meets a year.

For those who aren’t familiar with how It’s Academic works, here is a bit of information: the decision of who plays who is determined by ranking of scores. The competitions are quick and challenging but intriguing and entertaining.

Each competition is formatted in two different ways. The first format is called the discussion round. The teams take turns answering questions given to them by the moderator in a limited about of time. If one team answers their question incorrectly then the other team is given the opportunity to answer.

The second format is the competitive round, also known as the buzzer round. In this round, questions are read aloud by the proctor to both teams. The first team to buzz in gets to answer the question. Competitions are held at five different schools, Maryvale being the most popular school to host a contest. Also, once a year, several members of our It’s Academic team appear on a TV broadcast competition on WJZ. If a TV match is won, then the team returns for a rematch.

Our Maryvale It’s Academic team has won one TV match before and has come close to being the winner of the Arch Diocese schools.

Nevertheless, this year could be our year. Anyone can join if they wish. Dr. O’Neil’s only requirements are that one needs to be quick on the buzzer and have a wide knowledge of a variety of subjects. Mya said she loves It’s Academic because it is a fun environment where you can test your knowledge through competitions and meet new people along the way. Dr. O’Neil said that it’s been great fun over the years asking the girls questions and getting to know the teammates in a relaxed setting. She also said that driving the girls around to competitions all these years has left her with great memories and fun stories.

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It’s Academic!