2014 rings in with a full slate of student competitions and events administered by KCSOS
January not only ushers in the New Year and a new semester for Kern County’s roughly 175,000 students, but also marks the kick-off of five months of high energy, intense academic events and competitions administered by the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office.
From mid-January through the end of the academic year in May, hundreds of students will test their knowledge and skills in a dozen language arts, history, government, mathematics, science and fine arts events based on state curriculum standards.
The social interaction of working in teams and the exhilaration of contending for their alma mater rivals that of an athletic competition. Ear-to-ear grins, high-fives, applause from spectators and some disappointment along the way are all part of the experience.
“As educators, we are not only obligated to teach reading, writing and arithmetic, the subjects that fundamentally prepare students for success after they graduate high school,” said Kern County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Christine Lizardi Frazier. “We are also obligated to promote real-world learning that prepares our students for life in general. Scholastic competition helps achieve both.”
Winning at the county level can mean a trip to state and perhaps national venues for those who have diligently been preparing since the school year began last August.
Following is a breakdown of the upcoming student events and competitions.
Kern County Academic Decathlon Essay, Speech and Interview Day
City Centre — not open to the public
Often referred to as the “Super Bowl of Academics,” the Academic Decathlon’s first installment puts students to the test in three categories — essays, speech and interviews. The Academic Decathlon is comprised of 10 events, with the remaining seven categories to be contested on February 1.
Kern County Mock Trial Super Saturday
Kern County Superior Courts — 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
East High School — 4:30 awards ceremony
High school teams compete in a series of mock trial rounds where students have the opportunity to participate as prosecution attorneys, defense attorneys, defendants and witnesses in a simulated case developed by the Constitutional Rights Foundation. Students acquire skills in public speaking, critical analysis and deduction.
Grand Night for Music
Rabobank Convention Center — 7 p.m.
A concert presented by Kern County High Schools’ honor band, choir and orchestra. Students earn a place in this annual showcase of Kern County’s finest high school musicians and singers through an audition process.
Kern County Academic Decathlon
Bakersfield High School — All day, not open to the public until 2 p.m.
Awards ceremony — 5:30 p.m.
County high school teams grouped by scholastic grade level — A, B or C — will contest the remaining seven events of this grueling 10 event test of knowledge. They will be tested in Music, Language and Literature, Art, Mathematics, Science, Economics and a Super Quiz. The highest scoring team represents the county at the state finals.
Kern County Oral Language Festival
Stonecreek Jr. High School — 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Students memorize and present their interpretation of a published literary work, written by a known author. Presentations are 3-5 minutes in length with grades 4-6 and grades 7-8 competing separately. Categories of competition are: Verse Choir, Humorous Interpretation Solo, Humorous Interpretation Duo, Serious Interpretation Solo and Serious Interpretation Duo.
Honor Music Festival
Rabobank Convention Center — 7 p.m.
Junior high and middle school students earn a place in honor band, chorus and orchestra after being selected through an audition process.
Kern County History Day
Larry E. Reider Educational Center — 9 a.m.
History Day is an interdisciplinary program that encourages students to research and prepare papers, exhibits, posters, performances, and documentaries on an annual historical theme. Students learn to be historical detectives and sharpen their skills as writers, artists and performers.
Kern County Science Fair
Rabobank Convention Center — 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.
After months of testing their selected hypothesis, through research and experiments, elementary through high school age students offer their findings before judges in quest of medals and cash rewards. Winners have a chance to compete at the State Science Fair.
Henry Greve Speech Contest
City Centre — 7 p.m.
Established in 1955 for 7th and 8th graders, the Henry Greve Speech Contest offers students the opportunity to present four-and-a-half to seven-minute speeches on a given topic.
March 20 – 23
State Academic Decathlon
March 21 – 23
State Mock Trial
San Jose, CA
National Academic Decathlon
State History Day
Math Field Day
Liberty High School — 7 a.m. To 2 p.m.
Math Field Day is a fun-filled day of learning and competing for middle school and junior high students. It is part competition and part celebration, as students use all that they have learned about math throughout the year in fun contests and relays to win individual and group awards.
Bank of America Speech Contest
Larry E. Reider Educational Center — 6:30 p.m.
Sponsored and judged by bank employees, students in grades four through six have to write an essay on the same given theme. The best essayists in preliminary competition deliver their essay as a speech in grade levels to win trophies.
May 8 & 9
Kern Battle of the Books
Olive Drive Church — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
4-6 graders answer questions from approved books they have read. North County Schools compete on May 8, South County Schools compete on May 9.
May 8 – 10
National Mock Trial
National History Day
University of Maryland