Academic Enrichment Through UIL Competitions

UIL Academic Team

by Jordynn Barrus, 7th grade student journalist

On April 4th and 13th, students will compete here at Magnolia Junior High (MJH), via our 2022-2023 UIL academic competitions. This gives students the opportunity to compete against nine area schools on different topics using their academic skills.

UIL, University Interscholastic League, is a state program that focuses on academic enrichment through academic competitions and gives students the chance to show what they know.

Students have seventeen UIL academic teams to choose from; they can pick more than one team if they’d like depending on the competition dates for those events.  Events cover everything academic from math to theater.

“A lot of competitions; the focus is athletics, or, it’s the arts, but this gives us an opportunity to have our students actually compete on an academic basis, and that’s a really important thing to reinforce the idea that school, is first and foremost, about learning about academics,” said Mr. Slater, principal at MJH.

Students at MJH are given a chance to work with MJH teachers who coach each event before or after school on practice days.

Mrs. Dunn is our MJH UIL director.  She stated, “I think the thing that’s really important about UIL academics is you get to decide what your favorite subject is, or something that you want to be better at, and you get to practice that, and then you get to be rewarded.”

When it comes to competitions and awards, if students place in the top rankings, things can get a little specific. Students earn recognition for themselves and then earn points for their school. In the cafeteria at MJH, we have thirty-seven banners representing the 7th and 8th grader winners of the past and present. Once all the points are totaled, each campus will have a total number of points earned for their school, and each will earn a placing.  MJH consistently earns a top-four ranking often battling for first place with schools like Bear Branch Junior High and Montgomery Junior High.

Of course, UIL is only for extra-curricular activities, but it still tests you, and it shows your knowledge of a subject. In high school, these same competitions can lead to local, state, and national rankings where students can earn scholarships for college. Getting involved at the junior high level can give students a good chance to see which academic competitions they would like to pursue in high school.