The Online Magazine of the Academic Games Leagues of America
|News & Notes||R.I.P. Jim Davis||Down Memory Lane||Past AGazines|
News and Notes
Here is the story written by John Shearer and posted in the Knoxville News Sentinel April 27 during the 2014 AGLOA National Tournament.
Students at the Knoxville Convention Center have been experiencing the rigors of taking a standardized test in the classroom with the fun twist of family game night in the living room. This ACT/SAT meets “Jeopardy” style of play is the 49th annual Academic Games National Tournament, an Academic Games Leagues of America-sponsored event running Friday through Monday./p>
Some 900 youngsters from Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Louisiana, West Virginia and Colorado have been competing in language arts, history, English and mathematics.
But instead of just answering questions that they have memorized, like at a spelling bee, the students also have opportunities to challenge each other and expand on a question. For example, in the language arts, one student may ask a student to say a four-letter word, and the next student may ask another student to say a four-letter word with an x in it.
It develops critical thinking,” said tournament director Rod Beard of Michigan. “It makes you consider a lot of different possibilities.” But it apparently also makes for a lot of fun, much more so than a typical day at school, according to competitor Joshua McIntosh from Detroit. “The atmosphere is better than school,” he said Sunday afternoon during a break between competitions. “You may win sometimes, and sometimes you may lose, but the atmosphere and environment are just so entertaining. It just warms your heart.”
Besides the fun and possibilities to win competitions in four different age divisions from elementary school through 12th grade, the games are also designed to have some real world applications. Stephen White of Hancock County, W.Va., said he believes playing the games since the fifth grade have helped him become the first student from his high school to be accepted into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for this fall. “It really helped define me academically and helped me to reach scholarship goals that I never thought I’d get to,” he said. “I would never have gotten here without Academic Games and the accelerated curriculum it presented to me. And the way it does it is a fun and competitive environment.”
Beard, who is a sports writer for the Detroit News, is a former competitor who said the games gave him a confidence that helps him in the working world. “It showed me I had the ability and gave me a forum that showed I could be smart in society,” he said.
This is the second time the games have been held in Knoxville, and Beard said it may become part of the regular rotation because of the convenience of nearby hotels and the ability to have all the competitions in one building.
Rules Changes for 2014-15
Board of Directors Meeting
The AGLOA Board of Directors met in Orlando July 11-13. At the meeting, the Board:
R.I.P. Jim Davis
Jim Davis – a fallen warrior, jovial, sensitive, admirable, dedicated – a real friend.
On July 8, 2014, AGLOA lost a Founder. Jim Davis of Allegheny Valley, PA, lost a valiant struggle with brain cancer. His wife, Sandy, told Larry Liss, Dave Campbell and I (Stu White) via email that Jim was peacefully taken this morning. Jim and Sandy have two children and four grandchildren.
The word “Founder” needs some explanation. AGLOA is but 22 years old; yet Jim Davis’ contributions and participation began decades before. Better descriptors for Jim might be “originator” or “sustainer.” Like most things in life, timing is of the essence. Jim was a dynamic math teacher in 1966 when Bob Allen, brother of Layman Allen, along with Larry Liss brought the concept of Academic Gaming to Pennsylvania and met Jim. Jim became the coordinator of the Allegheny Valley School District Academic Games program that Fall – one of ten school districts in Western PA that formed the first ever Academic Games League in the country. It changed Jim’s life and changed the lives of countless gamers in the keystone state.
Down Memory Lane
Here’s the schedule of events at the second National Academic Games Tournament at Nova High School, Fort Lauderdale FL, as sent in a February 6, 1967, letter from Robert Allen, Director of the National Academic Games Project.
I would like to take this opportunity to announce the opening of registration and schedule of activities for the SECOND ANNUAL NOVA ACADEMIC OLYMPICS. This year’s tournament schedule is as follows:
Teams will be composed of five (5) players and there will be team and individual champions crowned for junior high (7-9) and senior high (10-12) in each of the three tournaments. In addition, overall team champions for junior high and for senior high will be determined by combining the team results of all three of the tournaments. This will be done in the following way: (Assume there are 40 teams competing)
First place – 40 points; 2nd place – 39 points; 3rd place – 38 points, etc.
If a team finishes third in EQUATIONS (38 points), sixth in PROPAGANDA (35 points), and first in DEMOCRACY (40 points), that team would score 113 points. If their total is greater than any other team competing, they would win the overall team championship.
All players should be encouraged to participate in all three of the games. If some students are unfamiliar with THE PROPAGANDA GAME and/or THE GAME OF DEMOCRACY, they should be assured that both games can be learned quickly. Instruction will be given in the play of both games before the competition begins.
Each afternoon there will be a WFF’N PROOF Tournament for those individuals who wish to compete. An individual champion will be crowned but team scores will not be kept.