Teams vie for money

D'Angelo Jackson,

Sixteen lucky students won a total of $5,000 in scholarship money at the 13th Annual Academic competition at Los Medanos College March 10, sponsored by the Office of Student Life and the Los Medanos College Associated Students.

The competition was structured in four rounds, each one meant to test the student’s knowledge in the subjects of English, mathematics, science, history and social sciences.

This year’s competition is the first that allowed student participants testing accommodations from Disabled Students Programs & Services. Proctor Jocelyn Villalobos said she’s happy these accommodations were made this year.

“A lot of students who are DSPS, it was hard for them last year to participate,” said Villalobos. “But this year they had accommodations, which I’m really proud they offered… I feel like it’s more inclusive to all the students.”

Registration for the competition began at 8 a.m. inside the gymnasium and participants were treated to a free continental breakfast as they prepared.

Students assembled teams of four — those who arrived without a team were put together at registration although a number of participants were groups of friends. Competition coordinator Scott Cabral reviewed the rules, and then the competition began – four rounds with a lunch break midway through.

In the end the four winning teams included,

First place: Team An Unsettling Number of Bees, $2,000

Second place: Team TacticalMangoes, $1,500

Third place: Team DAVE, $1,000

Fourth place: Team Popcorn, $500

Jack Stehn from Team An Unsettling Number of Bees felt that it was due to the team’s ability to quantify their own abilities that they were able to win despite everyone in the team not knowing each other too well at the start of the competition.

“Team organization [and] coordination was probably as big a part of our success as our actual academic specialties,” he said. “I legitimately didn’t know half of the team before I showed up here… I was forced to engage with people and talk to people that I normally wouldn’t see, especially outside my discipline because I’m mathematics… I don’t see a lot of people in the other disciplines so it was kind of nice to see.”

Student Life coordinator John Nguyen underscored the fact that the Academic Competition is an event that allows people in different parts of the LMC community who normally wouldn’t cross paths to collaborate with and support each other.

“This school is more than just academics,” said Nguyen. “We want to combine extracurricular activities with academics as well so our students can be well rounded individuals.”

And while the main goal is for the teams to engage with each other and win money by way of testing their academic knowledge, it could even be suggested that the testing of academic knowledge itself is more important. According to LMC student Manny Jimenez, who was working at the competition, taking part in the competition is something that can be used to test one’s academic abilities.

“I’d say the importance of the event lies really within the academic proficiency because for the most part, what some people overlook coming to an event like this is the fact that it looks good on a resume when it comes to transferring to another college,” said Jimenez. “So I say if you have a good place in mind and you’re headstrong about your decisions, coming to a place like this is not only for the money but it’s for the name, and carrying it off somewhere else looks good. I think you should really be aware of that.”