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Oct 5th, 2017
Is your middle-schooler an “outside-the-box” thinker? Does your child love trivia and thinking on their feet? Do you have a budding actor on your hands? U.S. Academic Triathlon may be the perfect opportunity to channel those qualities. U.S.A.T. is an after school, volunteer run, adventure.
U.S. Academic Triathlon is a creative thinking team competition that teaches and rewards creative and divergent thought processes, cooperative brainstorming, general intellect, leadership and a "flare" for the dramatics. Five-person teams compete in three distinct events at a USAT meet and are rewarded for their team-work, good sportmanship and positive risk-taking decisions. Those events are:
- P.A.R.T.Y in the Box: A theatrical performance challenge
- Mind Sprints: Three short-term(10 minute) creative thinking problems that may challenge students verbally,visually,spatially or kinesthetically
- Face-Off: Oral and written questions comprise this academic and concrete factual recall event
About 220 teams, grade 5-8, participated in U.S. Academic Triathlon last year in Minnesota alone. U.S. Academic Triathlon is a charter member of the Minnesota Academic Excellence Foundation League of Competitions, and is affiliated with the University of St. Thomas Graduate School of Education.
The time commitment for Academic Triathlon involves four meets (Dec-Mar). These meets are held at area schools on Friday afternoons from 4 pm to about 8 pm. Before registering, please check the dates carefully to determine if your child will be available. The dates are:
- Round Robin 1 Dec. 8, 2017
- Round Robin 2 Jan. 12, 2018
- Round Robin 3 Feb. 9, 2018
- Snow/Make-Up Date Feb. 23, 2018
- Regionals March 9, 2018 (all teams compete)
- State April 14, 2018 (only for those who advance)
This year we are offering this experience to ALL middle schoolers. There’s two ways to sign up: either as a team or an individual.
Sign up a Team: of up to 5 students. Students and parents are free to assemble teams as they wish. Annunciation will facilitate the activity by forwarding registration materials, providing competition kits, and assisting in hosting a meet if one is scheduled at Annunciation. To register at team:
- Two parent coaches should be identified and visit with parents of interested team members. Each team member must be a 6th, 7th or 8th grader enrolled at Annunciation. Both coaches attend the meets and complete a background check, driver’s background check, and Virtus training.
- Parents new to coaching triathlon must attend an informational meeting on November 6 at 4pm or November 7 at 6:30pm, Mrs. Steege’s Rm, 113W.
- *If these times do not work, contact Mrs. Steege to set up an individual meeting.
- Teams will be finalized by October 15, so attendance at one of the meetings or setting up an alternate time with Steege before that date is necessary.
- Coaches collect completed permission slips and a $60 check made out to Annunciation from each team member.
- Coaches complete attached “Team Information” form.
- Coaches turn in ALL permission slips, checks, Team Information form in one envelope (marked Julie Steege) to school office by Friday, October 13.
**If a team has coaches, but not 5 members, the team sheet may be turned in with a blank(s), and interested students may be placed on that team. If the team roster cannot be completed, checks will be returned.
Sign up as an individual: Are you interested, but don’t have a team, OR are you a coach with a partial team? If a student wishes to be on a team, but has not connected with a group, he/she may indicate that on the registration and turn that in, along with a permission slip and check. This student will be placed on a team if one needs additional members. Alternately, if enough students sign up as individuals, we will form new teams of these students. If the student is not placed as a regular team member, he/she will be listed as an alternate for all teams, and the check will be returned.
The number of teams created will be determined by the number of coaches available and the number of individual students who sign up. Students will be assigned to teams by Annunciation staff, and teams will usually be a combination of girls/boys. Attempts will be made to avoid having only 1 girl/boy on a team. Children of coaches will be placed on their parent’s team as a regular member.
If numbers do not allow all students to be placed on a team, regular team members will be chosen by lottery. Those students not chosen may participate as alternates and will be called upon for any meets regular team members are unable to attend. Alternates will not need to pay the $60 fee. Students may also sign up initially as alternates if they are unable to commit to all the competition dates.
**Two coaches are necessary for each triathlon team. Each year there are more interested students than available coaches, so all volunteers are welcome! Those considering coaching who have not done so before should attend an informational meeting:
November 6 at 4pm or November 7 at 6:30pm, Mrs. Steege’s Rm, 113W. *If these times do not work, contact Julie Steege for an individual meeting..
The number of coaches and teams will be finalized October 15, so attendance at one of the meetings or setting up an alternate time with Julie Steege before that date is appreciated.
For more information, here’s a link to the USAT Website: http://www.academictriathlon.org.