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Bay Region Awards Video

Academic Decathlon

Since 1981, the Solano County Office of Education has sponsored the Academic Decathlon for local public and private high school students to compete as individuals and as a team in a series of academic test and demonstrations. In 2006, Solano County expanded its services to include surrounding high schools in Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Sonoma and Yolo counties. The Academic Decathlon was officially established in 1968 by Robert Peterson, Ed.D., former County Superintendent of Schools in Orange County and has served as the model for all prestigious Academic Decathlon events that now exist at the state and national levels. 

The 2021-22 theme is "Water: A Most Essential Resource"

About the Decathlon

School teams study the theme using curriculum that is provided by the United States Academic Decathlon. Events include multiple-choice tests in different subjects: Art, Economics, Literature, Math, Science and Social Science. Events also include prepared and impromptu speeches, written essays, interviews with judges, and the Super Quiz (which is a quiz-bowl-type competition that takes place in front of a live audience when in-person).

Students master ten events which allows them to: 

  • Visualize art history
  • Participate in an interview
  • Experiment with science
  • Become versed in language and literature
  • Experience the music
  • Master mathematics
  • Excel in social science
  • Author an essay
  • Prepare a speech
  • Learn economics

Academic Decathlon teams consist of students know as Decathletes. Each team consist of three academic levels: Honor (GPA 3.80 - 4.0), Scholastic (GPA 3.2 - 3.799), and Varsity (GPA 0.0 - 3.199). 

After scores for all tests, interviews, speeches, and essays are cumulated, individual and team awards medals are presented at an awards ceremony. The overall winning team from each participating county is invited to participate in the statewide California Academic Decathlon. Based on overall state scores, additional teams may be invited to represent their county as "wild card" teams. 

Academic Decathlon teams spend months preparing for this demanding competition. In addition to mastering the extensive academic content, students learn about teamwork, goal setting, planning, and leadership. 

Learn How to Start a Team


Ken Scarberry
Director, Youth Development
(707) 646-7603

Trisha Dykstra
Secretary/Program Analyst 
(707) 646-7601