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Students rise and shine for California's Academic Decathlon

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Some of California's most brilliant young minds are in Sacramento today battling each other in a contest of academic strength at the state's Academic Decathlon.

The top three teams competing hail from the Los Angeles Unified School District. The California Report's Education Reporter spent time with the team of Marshall High School, the No. 2 ranked team, as they prepped for the big day.


Ana Tintocalis is the Education Reporter for The California Report.

Sample Decathlon Questions

Think you've got what it takes to win the academic decathlon? Test yourself with these test questions:

1.) In the correct Lewis dot structure of a nitrogen atom, how many dots should there be around the N?
a. 2
b. 3
c. 4
d. 5
e. 8

2.) What technique would you MOST probably use if you were an artist working rapidly outside?
a. arabesque
b. alla prima
c. aspara
d. assemblage
e. a` jour

3.) A particle is moving along a parabola y2= 2x + 3 in such a way that its x-coordinate is increasing at the constant rate of 3 units per second. At what rate, in units per second, is its y-coordinate changing as it passes through the point (3, -3)?
a. -1
b. -2
c. 2
d. 3
e. -2/3

4.) What is meant by the phrase "turn genes on" or "turn genes off "?
a. Mobile elements copy or degrade a gene within a cell.
b. Hox genes determine whether specific genes are expressed in a particular place and time.
c. Genes are differentially spliced.
d. Mutations within a gene activate or degrade the gene.
e. Proteins enhance or degrade the activity of other proteins within a gene.

5. During his voyage on the Beagle, Darwin was able to compare similar finch species from the Galapagos Islands, Cocos Island and
a. North America
b. Easter Island
c. Africa
d. the mainland of South America
e. Europe

(Answers: (1.D, 2.B. 3.A, 4.B, 5.D))
Sources: The Modesto Bee and KFSN-TV