Some of Franklin High School’s best and brightest students will represent EPISD this month at two rigorous academic competitions that will test their knowledge and skills.
The Franklin High School Academic World Quest team will compete in nationals on April 23 in Washington D.C. The school’s Citizen Bee Team is headed to state competition on April 16 in Austin.
Franklin AP Social Studies teacher Jim Barton coaches both teams.
“Being part of these academic competition gives the students a chance to take a specific topic and study it more in depth,” Barton said. “I couldn’t ask for a better group of kids. Everyone is very cooperative and doing their fair share. These are good kids. “
Team members said they were looking forward to competing in Washington and Austin.
“Going to compete at nationals is definitely exciting,” student Sophia Gonzalez-Mayagoitia said. “We are going to be the first team from El Paso to compete at this national level.”
Sophia is a member of both the Academic World Quest and Citizen Been teams. Both academic teams require students to study an array of topics in order to answer questions in a quiz bowl format.
To study for the Academic World Quest the team divided the content among the four of them. They will be quizzed on 10 different topics, ranging from NATO to internet and food security.
“The students meet everyday at lunch to study. It ends up being several hundred pages of reading they have to do to prepare for the competition,” Barton said. “Getting ready for nationals they have been cross training each other so they can pick up what the others have been studying. That way they all have a more broad base of knowledge.”
Studying for the Citizen Bee is similar except the competition focuses more on civics topics, such as Supreme Court cases, U.S. history and general government knowledge.
Both competitions offer not only bragging rights but also the opportunity to win scholarship money. The Academic World Quest winners will be awarded a $20,000 team scholarship, while the Citizen Bee winners will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
For senior Matt Maldonado being part of an academic team paves the way for his success at the University of Texas.
“I enjoy these competitions immensely because they prepare me for the type of studying I have to do in college,” Matt said. “I really have to give a shot out to the teachers at Franklin. They take a lot of time out of their schedules, whether it is a lunch or after school, to help us by providing materials or a lecture about the topics we have to study.”
Matt encourages other high-school students to participate in these types of extracurricular activities.
“I think it’s really great for high schools to participate in these academic competitions,” Matt said. “Whether you win or not, learning this kind of information helps you become a good global citizen.”