POINT PLEASANT — Point Pleasant Intermediate School sixth grader Bryce Tayengco recently placed third out of 295 players in the elementary division at the national competition of the Academic Games Leagues of America (AGLOA).
Brenda Adkins, Gifted Facilitator for Mason County Schools, stated students from Mason County from grades 4-12 have been competing in these games for 24 years, but this is the first time that a student has placed in the top three in the nation.
“I love the games because it includes so many of their academic subjects,” Adkins said. She added that the main topic for this year’s academic games was the U.S. Supreme Court and their decisions, as well as current events. There were also language arts and math games.
Adkins stated students compete in a regional competition against other counties in West Virginia, including, Lincoln, Logan, Wayne, Cabell, and Mingo counties. If the student places at the regional games, then they can continue on into the national games, and compete against students from several other states. Adkins added this was first year they’ve competed against students from Colorado as well.
Much like in the Olympics, scoring can come down to tenths of a point. In the elementary division, Tayengco was below the second place winner by only 0.283 of a point, and 2.544 points below the first place winner. In addition to placing third overall in the elementary division, Tayengco placed first in the linguistics competition, and sixth in the world events competition.
“It feels really good that I made it all the way up there,” Tayengco said on placing third in the elementary division.
Adkins stated that several other schools have special classes that students attend in order to prepare for these games, but here in Mason County, the students stay after school and use their own time to prepare. Taynegco discussed his studying habits, saying he didn’t really have any special tricks, you simply have to practice and study a little bit every day.
Tayengco also qualified to compete at the national level last year, but wasn’t able to participate due to competing in the state math field day and state social studies fair. He plans to continue competing in these games for as long as he is able to. Adkins also stated she was grateful for the support from the board of education when students go to compete in these games.
The AGLOA was reported to be a non-profit organization that works to develop “Thinking Kids” of character, excellence, and integrity. They provide a series of Academic Games competitions throughout the nation culminating in a National Championship Tournament, featuring several different academic areas. The players receive recognition and rewards in the same way that sports champions are honored.
For more information on the games, visit www.academicgames.org.