Students who participate in academic competitions must demonstrate they are highly proficient in academic subjects. Competitions allow students to stretch themselves intellectually while gaining countless other skills, such as thinking critically and working with others.
Fifth Grade A-Team
The Fifth Grade A-Team Tournament begins with preliminary competitions, in which schools are grouped by geographical areas. The two top-scoring schools from these January preliminary rounds compete in one of three semifinal rounds in February or early March. Preliminary and semifinal competitions are open only to staff, students, and students’ family members. The two top-scoring schools from each semifinal then compete to claim the title of Polk County champion.
Middle School A-Team
The Middle School A-Team Tournament consists of two rounds: the semifinal round, in which all participating schools compete in one of several competition rooms, and the championship round, in which the six schools with the highest scores from the semifinal round compete to claim the title of county champion. These two rounds are held during after-school hours on consecutive days in March.
The Polk Regional Science and Engineering Fair and the Elementary Showcase allow students to share independent/team scientific research or prototypes. Students must compete at the school level to win a bid to participate at the county level. Both events will take place in January 2019 under the theme “Science Builds the Future.”
The Elementary Showcase is for students in fourth and fifth grade, and the Polk Regional Science and Engineering Fair is for students in middle and high school.
High School A-Team
The Polk County High School Academic Tournament is a highly academic competition for high school students. Each team consists of six members (four players and two alternates) and a coach. This is not a quick-response, trivial pursuit contest. Instead, it is a slower-paced tournament in which players are asked questions from the areas of mathematics, science, language arts, social studies, fine arts, world languages, and technology. The questions are written by educators from Florida high schools to mirror existing curricula.