UIL/TMSCA Event Descriptions

TMSCA (Texas Math & Science Coaches Association) Events

 

Calculator Applications

The calculator applications contest is designed to stimulate the development of mathematical and calculator skills for students in grade 6,7 and 8. Students will take a test containing 80 problems in 30 minutes. The contest consists of problems which may include calculations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, roots, and powers. It also includes straight-forward calculation problems, and simple geometric and stated problems similar to those found in recently adopted textbooks. 

 

Number Sense

Individuals are called upon every day to use their ability to make quick mental calculations to make decisions. The development of such abilities should be an integral part of the math curriculum. Concepts covered include, but are not limited to: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, proportions, and use of mathematic notation.

Students will be given a 10-minute, fill-in-the-blank test which they must complete without doing calculations on paper or on a calculator.

 

Mathematics

Learning to complete math problems quickly is a valuable skill in all facets of life including engineering, accounting, completing a tax return and even grocery shopping. This contest includes problems covering, but not limited to: numeration systems, arithmetic operations involving whole numbers, integers, fractions, decimals, exponents, order of operations, probability, statistics, number theory, simple interest, measurements and conversions. Geometry and algebra problems may be included as appropriate for the grade level. The contest, designed for students in grade 6, 7 and 8, consists of 50 multiple choice problems.

 

Science 

Emphasis for the Science contest, for students in seventh and eighth grades, will be placed on knowledge of scientific fact, understanding of scientific principles and the ability to think through scientific problems. The contest was designed to test not only memory but the ability to critically think about science and scientific processes and concepts. Such concepts include, but are not limited to: matter and energy, equilibrium, force and motion, physical and chemical properties, the relationship between organisms and the environment, the components of our solar system, the composition of matter and genetics. The contest will build upon the vast body of changing and increasing knowledge described by physical, mathematical, and conceptual models. Each test will consist of approximately 35 multiple choice questions which will be taken from current state-adopted science textbooks and the curriculum.

 
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Other Written UIL Events

Dictionary Skills

Thorough knowledge of the dictionary is a way to increase a student's ability to find the information that is needed for classwork as well as everyday living. Each Dictionary Skills test consists of 40 objective and short answer questions to be completed in 20 minutes.

 

Listening

Contestants will listen to a script ranging from seven to ten minutes in length, take notes as needed, and use their notes to answer 25 multiple choice, true/false and short answer test questions. A variety of subject matter will be used for the listening tests.

 

Maps, Graphs and Charts

The maps, graphs & charts contest is designed to help students learn to get information from a variety of maps, graphs and charts including world maps, pie charts, bar charts and local area maps. The objective test will measure skills such as using a reference book to locate information, making comparisons, estimating and approximating, using scale and interpreting grid systems, legends and keys. Students will be given an objective test containing approximately 75 multiple choice, true/false, and fill-in-the-blank questions which must be answered in 45 minutes.

 

Ready Writing

Contestants are given a choice between two prompts which defines the audience, and provides the purpose for writing. Students should be encouraged to analyze the prompts for the purpose of writing, the format, the audience and the point of view. The format may be, for example, a letter, an article for the newspaper or an essay for the principal. Various writing strategies may be stated or implied in the prompt.

 

Social Studies

The Social Studies contest is designed to test student knowledge of topics defined by a study outline which is updated yearly.  Questions on the exam are based on state defined objectives and questions are taken from state adopted text books and identified primary sources.

 

Spelling

The spelling contest is designed to give students exposure to a wide variety of vocabulary words. It is not a contest of memorization. For the most educational value, preparation for this contest should include instruction in the rules of the English language, meanings and definitions, and root words. In addition to learning to spell proficiently, contestants will learn to write clearly and to capitalize words properly.

 

Speaking Events

 

Impromptu Speaking

 

Contestants will draw three topics and have three minutes to prepare a speech, which must be presented without any notes. The contest gives participants experience in thinking, organizing, formulating clear thoughts, and delivering those thoughts to an audience effectively.

 

Modern Oratory

Contestants will select one of the topics, determine the critical issues in the topic, and acknowledge both pro and con points citing support discovered in their research. Students will choose a side they will defend and support that side with additional evidence. Along with the skills of analysis, research, note-taking, documentation, evaluation and decision-making come those of delivery and the skill of memorization.

 

Oral Reading

Reading literature out loud provides opportunities for students to analyze the text, to grow and to develop as a performer, to communicate a message to an audience and to perform an artistic creation.  There are two oral reading categories:  Poetry and Prose.

 

·        Poetry Interpretation

The poetry reading competition should be an extension of the classroom literary and language arts activities in poetry. Each may be a single reading, a cutting from a longer selection, or a combination of several selections. The same selection may be read in all rounds, but different selections are permissible. Selections must be published although the author may be unknown or anonymous. The maximum time for each presentation is six minutes.

 

·        Prose Interpretation

The prose reading competition should be an extension of the classroom literary and language arts activities in short stories and children's fiction. Each may be a single reading, a cutting from a longer selection, or a combination of several selections. The same selection may be read in all rounds, but different selections are permissible. Selections must be published although the author may be unknown or anonymous. Prose readings may include sketches, fables, tales, science fiction, fantasy, mysteries and the like. The maximum time for each presentation is six minutes.

 
 

Acting Events

In acting categories it is expected that the student analyzes the selection to discover the character’s motivation and that the presentation is from the character’s point of view.  In other words acting should be evident in the presentation of the character vocally, physically and emotionally.  Selections may be taken from dramatic literature or adapted from other literary forms. 

·        Solo Acting

This is an individual event.  A Contestant selects a monologue to memorize and present for competition.  Emphasis for evaluation is placed on understanding of the monologue,  presentation of character and entertainment value.

 

·        Duet Acting

Two contestants select a scene to memorize and present for competition.  Selections may be cuttings taken from dramatic literature or adapted from other literary forms.  They may also be taken from scripts specifically written for duet competition.  Emphasis for evaluation is placed on understanding of the duet, characterization and the interaction of the ensemble.

 

·        One Act Play

Students will have the opportunity to work in all aspects of the production of a 40-minute play. During the production of the play they will be able:

1.       to satisfy the competitive, artistic spirit with friendly rivalry among schools, emphasizing high quality performance in this creative art;

2.       to foster appreciation of good acting, good directing and good drama;

3.       to promote interest in that art form most readily usable in leisure time during adult life;

4.       to learn to lose or win graciously, accepting in good sportsmanship the judge's decision and criticism with a view to improve future productions; and

5.       to increase the number of schools that have adopted theatre arts as an academic subject in school curricula.