‘Academic Games’ to challenge hundreds of local students


student participating in academic games

Slippery Rock University will host nearly 500 area elementary, middle and high schools students for the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV Academic Games Dec. 14 in the Smith Student Center Ballroom.

Dec. 14, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - It may not be in the same vein as the many final exams being administered at Slippery Rock University this week, but for nearly 500 area students from 25 western Pennsylvania school districts, the challenges of recalling lessons learned will be just as demanding during the Dec. 14 Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV Academic Games in the Smith Student Center.

The academic games afford the opportunity for higher achieving and gifted students in grades 4-12 to compete against each other as teams and individuals for the chance to advance to the Tri-Bowl, a state tournament with players from across Western Pennsylvania.

Victorious Tri-Bowl teams and individuals then travel to the AGLOA National Tournament in the late spring to face players from around the country.

Public and parochial school students from Butler, Lawrence and Mercer counties will compete in four divisions: Grades 4-8, 7-8, 9-10 and 11-12.

The games are offered through the national Academic Games Leagues of America, which supplies the questions and fosters competition to help develop "thinking kids." Topics to be covered include: current events, mathematics, English and history.

A sample "current events" question for middle school students appears below:

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been investigating a measles outbreak spreading from Disneyland in California to other western states during 2015. This measles outbreak has caused a debate over vaccinations since the CDC declared the U.S. measles-free in what year?

    A. 2004
    B. 2003
    C. 2001
    D. 2000

The correct answer is "D."

"Competition is a good vehicle for learning," said Diane McGaffic, educational consultant for the Midwestern Intermediate Unit IV. "There is a natural competitiveness between rival and 'nemesis' school districts. It is a challenging day of academics."

Additionally, the information contained within the competition materials support the Pennsylvania Core Standards, which should reflect "rigorous, high-quality academic expectations in English Language Arts and mathematics that all students should master by the end of each grade level," according to the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

SRU will play host to future game competitions during January and February.

MEDIA CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine | 724.738.4854 | gordon.ovenshine@sru.edu