AD Overview: The United States Academic Decathlon is a team competition wherein students match their intellects with students from other schools. Students are tested in ten categories:
Art, Economics, Essay, Interview, Language and Literature, Mathematics, Music, Science, Social Science, and Speech.
Gold, Silver and Bronze medals are awarded for individual events and total scores. Winning teams advance through the local, regional, and state levels of competition. The state champions compete at the national finals.
Educational Experience: Based on the model of the athletic decathlon, the Academic Decathlon requires participants to prepare for ten academic events. Like the athletic contest, the Academic Decathlon does not permit participants to specialize but rather the Academic Decathlon encourages academic versatility by requiring students to prepare for all ten events. The Academic Decathlon stresses educational opportunity and academic excellence.
History of the Academic Decathlon: The Academic Decathlon was first created by Dr. Robert Peterson, former Superintendent of Schools in Orange County, California. Firmly believing that everyone’s learning potential can be maximized through competitive challenge, Dr. Peterson set in motion the contest that has since come to be recognized as the most prestigious high school academic team competition in the United States. The program spread rapidly throughout the states due to the success and excitement it engendered. USAD was founded in 1981.