It’s Academic team earns spot in semifinals

By Dana Youngentob, Staff Writer

What is the smallest of seven consecutive odd integers that add up to 105? Most people would probably take a few minutes to figure out the answer, but for the CHS It’s Academic team only needs a few seconds.

When a team member figures out the answer to the question, that person presses the buzzer and a light goes off to signify that his or her team will answer.

And that’s just the practice round.

“It’s an intense practice atmosphere,” said senior captain, president and treasurer Geoffrey Wang. “There is a lot of pride at stake.”

According to Wang, the team competes in academic challenges hosted by other high schools in the area. The team also participates in two televised tournaments: MCPS’ Quizmaster Challenge which they recently won against Wootton and are now headed to the quarterfinals and It’s Academic on NBC 4 in which CHS is one of the top nine teams and headed to the semifinals.

According to its website, It’s Academic was recently recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “longest running television quiz show.” The show has been airing on NBC since the late 1950s.

“It’s Academic has become a Washington institution, not just another TV show,” said It’s Academic host Mac McGarry. “We have a commitment to the teens who appear on the program, the teachers, our fans and to the whole educational community.”

According to McGarry, the questions focus on the core academic subjects, including history, literature, science, geography and math.

The CHS It’s Academic team practices every Tuesday after school. The students discuss questions and make sure that every team member understands the answer.

According to Wang, learning new and interesting things makes It’s Academic enjoyable. The members have proven that they are committed by participating in the competitions, and their hard work has certainly paid off.

The team will be in the semifinals of the It’s Academic competition in April. The program appears on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m.

“It’s Academic is always mentally stimulating,” McGarry said. “The students are bright, funny, idealistic and willing to work hard to achieve their goals.”