Throughout a three-day event, visual senior Summer Barrette, communications junior Thomas McCabe, and communications freshman Charlie Blackwell competed with the Palm Beach County team in Orlando at the 54th Annual Academic Games National Tournament, held by the Academic Games League of America on April 26.

“Overall, Dreyfoos performed decently this year in Academic Games,” McCabe said. “Palm Beach County as a whole won almost every competition.”  

The students who competed helped the Palm Beach County team win many of the group competitions. Meant to encourage academic excellence, this event is honors students in a manner similar to the recognition athletes receive when they achieve a victory. The nonprofit organization focuses its competition on many areas of academic study such as math, social studies, and language arts.

“I did not win anything individually,” Barrette said, “but our link team—the team for the grammar-based tournament—came in first place, and our propaganda team came in second place.”

The games allow students to show their academic skills in a creative and competitive way. The games are set up similar to a board game and attempt to challenge each team with different situations in each game.

“I equate it to board games,” Barrette said. “You play it like a board game, so you have a mat and cubes. In the grammar game, you’re using letters, and you’re making moves throughout the game. When you put the letters on the mat, it means that you can use it to make a word. It’s a little like Scrabble.”

However, before the students can compete in the games, preparation is necessary. Students need to study areas of language arts, mathematics, and science in order to have a chance at victory.

“Competing as a high schooler is an interesting experience.” McCabe said. “You have almost no free time, and when you do have some, you spend that time preparing for your next game. It is a very stressful process, but once it’s over you feel very rewarded.

After all of the stress of preparation and competition, students can relax and relish the victory that they have brought to Dreyfoos.

“We’re all trying our best,” Barrette said. “Everyone else is so friendly. You shake hands after a match, and there’s a great sense of camaraderie.”