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Hopewell High School Students Clinch Awards at National Academic Games

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As we come to the conclusion of the 2023-2024 school year, we have some more exciting news regarding events going on with the district.

This past weekend (4/19-4/22), students from Hopewell High School’s gifted education program competed in the National Tournament for the Academic Games League of America (AGLOA). 9th Grader Eileen Chen and 10th Graders Allison Honeywill and Ryan Vukovcan traveled to Atlanta, Georgia to attend and were accompanied by the high school gifted teacher, Mrs. Bronwyn Korchnak. We are extremely excited to announce that the students had great success at the event.

Eileen competed in 4 categories, and her propaganda team composed of students from schools from around Beaver County, Victory by Definition, came in 8th in the nation and received medals. This year was her first time ever playing academic games!

Ryan competed in 3 categories and individually came in 3rd place in the nation in the current events category and will receive a thinkers trophy. His current events team, composed of students from Beaver Falls, Blackhawk, Beaver, and Freedom, came in 1st! This is Ryan’s 3rd year competing and placing in nationals.

Hopewell Sports Nation spoke with Mrs. Korchnak to give everyone some info on AGLOA.

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How many students from Hopewell compete locally and how many qualified for Nationals? -5th through 12th grade gifted students can compete within the 6 different games. Pending on the game the district has anywhere from 2 to 11. The 4th graders can compete in 2 games but no one from HW competed in that grade.
What is the process to qualify? The students have to qualify within 2 of the 6 games at the local level in order to attend Nationals. Scoring requirements vary from the reader games (prop, presidential, current events, and theme) and the cube games (equations and ling).
How did students prepare for the tournament? For my students, pull out sessions were offered to go over and practice prop and presidential questions. For current events, the students again had pull out sessions to go to various websites and read up on things, but they mainly did this on their own. For the cube games equations and ling – I schedule pull out sessions for the students to play the game. Also, Mr. Slapikas, one of Hopewell High Schools English teachers met with the students to help each Ling. For the theme topic, one of our history teachers, Mr. Mr. Martin Vallecorsa is AMAZING! He makes a power point and teaches the students. I scheduled the pull-out session, but he does the lecturing and all of the prep!! He goes above and beyond for the kids!!

Can you explain the competition categories for those who are not familiar? 

Propaganda, students learn to recognize techniques of persuasion that are often used by advertisers, politicians, editorial writers, and in everyday conversations. Players increase their ability to discern the truth from “smokescreens”.

Presidents, players learn about and develop an understanding of the personalities, historical contexts, political decisions, and other events of the Presidents of the United States of America. Players learn how presidents developed personally and professionally, how they reacted to or changed the times in which they served, what types of families they came from, and how they were affected by the political climate surrounding them. Players also learn about other major events that may have happened during a presidential term.

While preparing for and playing Current Events, players learn about the major political and cultural events of the most recent calendar year. They learn to be aware of what is happening to them, their country, and their world. The knowledge gained from playing Current Events leads to more informed and responsible future citizens.

While preparing for and playing Theme, the players learn to research a particular historical theme that varies from year to year and to prepare notes and study materials about that theme. The theme this year was History of Rock and Roll, and NEXT YEAR it is the History of our Nation’s Capital, as the tournament will be held in DC.

Equations is the Game of Creative Mathematics. Equations involves authentic learning experiences and problem solving at the highest levels. All grade levels play with the same set of procedural rules. However, each division level of competition introduces increasingly more difficult mathematical concepts for the players to use. Players are challenged to use their mathematical knowledge and ability and to develop new skills in progressively more competitive ways. Players usually learn more from applying their knowledge in the competition than they do in their normal classroom studies.
LinguiSHTIK challenges players to improve their grammar, vocabulary, spelling, and writing skills. Players learn to compose better sentences with proper grammar application. They also use richer vocabulary as they compete against others and are rewarded. All grade levels play with the same set of procedural rules. However, each division level of competition introduces increasingly more difficult grammatical concepts for the players to use. Competitors are challenged to enhance their vocabulary and grammar skills in increasingly creative ways.

Congratulations to the students and staff for these great academic achievements.

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