The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

The online student newspaper of Vandegrift High School

Vandegrift Voice

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Archives

Students take on UIL Academics Regionals, 3 students to represent Vandegrift at state competition

Students+take+on+UIL+Academics+Regionals%2C+3+students+to+represent+Vandegrift+at+state+competition

Competing in various events, 19 students traveled to the UIL Academics Regional competition on April 27, which took place at the University of Texas at San Antonio. Seniors Alyssa Hoy and Kylie Pucong, as well as junior Kaitlyn Boykin qualified for the May 13 to May 15 state meet, while seniors Seiya Mutreya, Ryan Chin, and Paige Radloff, and juniors Igleisas and Mary Bahrami placed as alternates for region four. 

“As you progress through invitationals and districts the people you’re going against tend to score higher,” Gabi Probst, senior and literary criticism competitor, said. “The biggest challenge is making up that gap between where we think we are and where we think we’ll need to be to [advance].”

All together, Vandegrift earned 10th place out of 59 competing schools in region four with a total of 68 points counting towards overall school sweepstakes. The Journalism team won second place.

UIL State qualifiers junior Kaitlyn Boykin, and seniors Alyssa Hoy and Kylie Pucong. Boykin qualified in News Writing while the seniors placed in the top three in Headline Writing to qualify for state. (Jessica Stamp)

“The most rewarding part of competing has definitely been the opportunity to write under time pressure,” junior Mary Bahrami, who placed sixth in News Writing, said. “While it is a stressful environment, I think that UIL is one of the best ways for students to prepare for their future careers. It teaches them how to work with stress while exposing them to real world environments.”

UIL Academics also covers other career-focused subjects such as accounting. In this event, students are tested over their knowledge of accounting terminology and practices. Students can also put their mental math skills in events 

“Number sense relies a lot on speed. and being that you have to take a lot of risks,” senior Ryan Chin, Accounting competitor and fifth place Math awardee, said. “Sometimes [you have to] prioritize going faster than checking your work. I think that’s something that is important to understand.”

Each event required different kinds of preparation. Students competing in Literary Criticism and Social Studies studied the assigned reading material and obtained a full comprehension of their topic. Students competing in Science were required to have knowledge on topics including biology, chemistry, and physics.

“The challenge with UIL [Academics] is that it’s super cutthroat,” Radloff said. “You have to be the best to advance. The hardest part for me has been where to gamble. Science is like gambling because there are three sections and you can win first place in one of the sub sections or you can win if you’re in the top three overall.”

Competing in the different UIL academics events offers opportunities for scholastically-driven students to put their skills to test and obtain recognition for their educational endeavors and achievements

“People who are not athletically inclined but still want to win awards can be [mathletes], and that’s through UIL Academics,” Radloff said. “It might be nerdy but you can still win cool medals and get recognition. It helps with the classes that you  [take] as well.”

More than awards, these competitions can provide students with a deeper understanding of a broad range of topics, from analyzing Tennessee Williams’s “The Glass Menagerie” to solving mathematical problems in Calculator Applications.

“Since each year focuses on a different topic, it allows me to go in depth about a random subject that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about,” junior Iglesias, who placed sixth in the Social Studies event, said. “UIL Academics broadens your world view, at least in UIL social studies, and watching yourself improve is absolutely worth the effort.”

 

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About the Contributor
Lourdes Hernandez Peraza
Lourdes Hernandez Peraza, Staff Reporter
Lourdes Hernandez-Peraza is a junior and is excited for her first year on the Voice. In addition to being a part of the staff, she also participates in theater, UIL academics, and National French Honor Society. In her free time, you can catch Lourdes reading, cross-stitching, baking and making smoothies, or doing nail art.

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