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Academic Decathlon Lecture Day held online

The 15th annual Academic Decathlon Lecture Day for high school students was held online as part of a lecture series last week.

More than 1,100 Academic Decathletes from throughout California tuned in for information on this year’s Decathlon topic, “Water: A Most Essential Resource.” Lectures were held from 3:30-4:45 p.m. daily, with a question and answer session from 4:15-4:45 p.m.

“We were excited to offer this event to decathletes again this year,” said Dr. Cecilia Massetti, Madera County Superintendent of Schools. “We have been able to reach more students with the online platform than ever before. Students were able to access the lectures live and then after the event may return to the videos to help them study for the competition.”

Decathletes watched five sessions delivered by Valley experts. Sessions included: Marine Biology, presented by Dr. Mary Nishimoto, UC Santa Barbara researcher; The Confluences of Water and Art, presented by Susana Sosa, Fresno City College professor; Literature, The Sea-Wolf, presented by Dr. Steven Frye, CSU Bakersfield professor; Intersections of Music and Water, presented by Dr. Dieter Wulfhorst, freelance cellist; and Speech, presented by Dr. Brad Millar, Madera Community College professor.

“Along with the respected professors who partner with us each year, with the virtual format, we had the opportunity to broaden the search for experts in particular subject areas,” said Massetti.

Dr. Nishimoto is a Madera native who is now a biologist living on the Central Coast and Dr. Frye is an American literature expert, specifically on the novel’s author Jack London, in the greater Central Valley.

Sosa, Dr. Millar, and Dr. Wulfhorst have all been speakers at the events for more than eight years.

Academic Decathlon students are studying the art, economics, language and literature, math, music, science, and social science on the topic of “Water.” The speech, interview, Super Quiz and awards ceremony will be held on Feb. 5, 2022. Testing will be held the week before the event. This year Madera County has eight schools participating.

The Academic Decathlon is sponsored by Madera County Schools Foundation and Madera County Superintendent of Schools. Educational Employees Credit Union, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, and Camarena Health are major sponsors.

For more information, please contact Kristi Winter at Madera County Superintendent of Schools, 662-3873.



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