Each year students at all levels of Acaciawood participate in a variety of academic competitions in history, math, science, and writing. These competitions further the goals of the school’s academic program by helping students to learn goal setting, organizational, project planning, group project, and higher thinking skills. These aid students in becoming independent learners who aspire to excellence and apply diligence and resolve to achieve their goals.

To assist students and parents in planning for their participation, this section contains information and schedules for the following competitions:

Math Competitions

The American Mathematics Competitions (AMC) are dedicated to the goal of strengthening the mathematical capabilities of our nation’s youth. We believe that one way to meet this goal is to identify, recognize, and reward excellence in mathematics through a series of national contests.

American Mathematics Competition 8 (AMC 8)

The AMC 8 is a 25 question, 40 minute multiple choice examination based on junior high school (middle school) mathematics designed to promote the development and enhancement of problem solving skills. The examination provides an opportunity to apply the concepts taught at the junior high level to problems which range from easy to difficult and cover a wide range of applications. Many problems are designed to challenge students and to offer problem solving experiences beyond those provided in most junior high school mathematics classes. Calculators are allowed. High scoring students are invited to participate in the AMC 10.

American Mathematics Competition 10/12 (AMC 10/12)

The AMC 10 and 12 are 25 question, 75 minute multiple choice examinations in secondary school mathematics containing problems which can be understood and solved with pre-calculus concepts. Calculators are allowed.

American Invitational Mathematics Examination (AIME)

The AIME is an intermediate examination between the AMC 10 or AMC 12 and the USAMO. All students who took the AMC 12 and achieved a score of 100 or more out of a possible 150 are invited to take the AIME. All students who take the AMC 10 and have a score of 120 or are in the top 1% also qualify for the AIME.

United States of America Mathematics Olympiad (USAMO)

The USAMO provides a means of identifying and encouraging the most creative secondary mathematics students in the country. It serves to indicate the talent of those who may become leaders in the mathematical sciences of the next generation. The USAMO is part of a worldwide system of national mathematics competitions, a movement in which both educators and research mathematicians are engaged in recognizing and celebrating the imagination and resourcefulness of our youth.

For more information see: American Mathematics Competitions

National History Day (NHD)

A major component of the junior high and high school academic program is the school’s participation in National History Day (NHD). The NHD program involves extensive research of a significant topic in history and the development of projects such as historical websites, documentaries, exhibits, live performances, and historical papers. Particular emphasis is placed upon interview, primary source research and development of a diversified bibliography.

Acaciawood’s participation in NHD strengthens and supports our Expected Schoolwide Learning Results (ESLRs). Students become accomplished learners by identifying a viable research topic and doing research over the course of the school year. They learn to analyze primary and secondary sources, understand the historical processes of cause and effect, distinguish between fact, bias, and opinion, and place historical events in the larger context of world history.

Students become productive, goal-oriented workers throughout the NHD process by learning time and project management skills and meeting short-term deadlines for the accomplishment of the final NHD project. Students learn to work as a team and learn valuable cooperative skills needed for future work environments.

In addition students are inspired to become persons of character through the models of inspirational historical figures and living participants of history that they interview. Throughout the course of the project, students become informed responsible citizens by reflecting on the triumphs and tragedies of the past.

Acaciawood offers instruction in the NHD process from beginning to end through the Historical Methods class. The NHD program provides an annual competition as an incentive for students to do their best work. Acaciawood annually enters students at the County competition. Winners at that level advance to State and then National competitions. In 2004, fourteen students advanced to the national competition at the University of Maryland. Over the past five years, Acaciawood students have won a total of six awards at the national competition.

Related Links:

Science Fair

Acaciawood Prep 5th-8th grade students participate in an annual Science Fair competition. Projects are prepared throughout the fall semester and the first part of the spring semester for a competition in the early spring. The top projects in each grade of the school’s competition compete at the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair. Winners at the county level move on to the State Science Fair competition.

Students who participate in Science Fair learn to apply the steps in the scientific method including:

  • Constructing a hypothesis
  • Planning an experiment
  • Gathering and analyzing data
  • Drawing conclusions

Students follow a general project development plan that includes:

  • Writing a background paper on the topic
  • Developing an investigation plan
  • Recording their work in a journal
  • Designing and conducting an experiment
  • Developing an exhibit incorporating pictures and charts
  • Preparing and giving an oral presentation concerning their project

Students also develop valuable skills in:

  • Time management
  • Project management
  • Researching
  • Writing
  • Applying critical thinking
  • Visual exhibit design
  • Public speaking

View the schedule for the Orange County Science and Engineering Fair.

Getting Ideas and Planning

Helpful sites for getting ideas for and planning Science Fair projects:

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