Extracurricular Spotlight: The Tuscarora Academic Team


Julia Broberg, Writer

Within Frederick county, the idea of an academic team has been around for about 30 years. Tuscarora decided to implement their own team in 2004: one year after the school was first founded. Due to student and teacher support, the Tuscarora academic team has been held together by students that have a knack for knowledge ever since. Mrs. Nickles is the adult supervisor, but she mostly lets the students run the team as they see fit. There are usually 3 or 4 student captains of the team, and they had wonderful information as well as their own personal takes on how things are going.

Sophomore Maliha Vali said her experience has been indescribable. She came in freshman year and wasn’t familiar with how the team worked. Now that she’s been a part of the team for 2 years, she says it’s “nice to see new people try to make changes for the better of the team,” as it grows. She also says there’s been “significant improvement” within the team. 3-year member Akbar Khan said he has had a pretty good experience. He likes to see “the way things change,” especially the “different people and how they grow in an academic environment”. He enjoys that everyone can be “having fun and learning at the same time”. Lastly, senior Tomas Reyna has had a great time being involved with the team. He says that it has been a great “confidence booster” for him. He is fond of the fact that students develop a “greater interest in various vocations and subjects” while being a part of the team. Overall, the team captains are very happy that they get to be a part of something like this.

The Tuscarora Academic Team begins in the winter season and meets every Tuesday and Friday before the holiday break. After the break, they meet every Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. The competitions are every Friday from 6-8pm. Competitions consist of 4 matches, and each match contains 5 different rounds. Round One is 10 questions on a random topic with a buzzer. Round Two is 6 questions with different content matter for each one and no buzzer. The 3rd round is the only round with math related questions, and it ranges from math to various other subjects. Round Four is a pre-released special topic that the team members get to study for a week prior to the competition (10 questions). The 5th and final round is a speed round that has 20 questions on every subject – except math – including current events. Tuscarora competes in 1 match each Friday against another school.

If you are interested in showcasing your trivial knowledge while also partaking in an extracurricular activity, make sure you go talk to Mrs. Nickles in room B201 or just come to one of their practices (Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays). If you think it may be too late, don’t miss them at the club fair next year. The members of the team would like to stress that even if you may think you’re not clever enough for an activity like this, think again, because “any knowledge you have is useful,” and greatly appreciated!