It's an academic decathlon for small schools.

Small schools in the rural parts of Kern County held an annual academic competition on Feb. 28 called “Whiz Kids” at Puite Mountain School in Caliente.

Elk Hills claimed overall team victory, while Elk Hills’ William Martin was victorious in the Essay category and Belridge’s Lucia Diaz was the Social Studies winner.

McKittrick won the Super Quiz.

The competition is for seventh and eighth grade students and is modeled after the high school “Academic Decathlon.”

Students from Belridge, Elk Hills, McKittrick, Midway and the Caliente School District participated. Each school/district selected six students for their team for a total of 30 participants.  Competition consisted of four subjects — Math, Social Studies, Science and Essay, plus the Super Quiz. Individual titles were contested in the Essay and Social Studies categories.

Super Quiz is the highlight of the event — facing teams off against each other in a TV game show type of competition.

Teams are given 24 questions and each student must answer four questions in an allotted amount of time.

Questions were based on the book "Rifles for Watie," by Harold Keith. 

“Whiz Kids” is sponsored by the competing schools with logistical support from the Kern County Superintendent of Schools Office (KCSOS).

2013 Whiz Kids Results:

Overall Team Results

1. Elk Hills

2. McKittrick

3. Belridge

Team Category Winners

Science — McKittrick and Elk Hills (TIE)

Math — McKittrick

Super Quiz — McKittrick

Individual Results


1. William Martin — Elk Hills

2. Lora Lopes — Caliente Union School District

3. Shelby Watts — Elk Hills / Jaycee Sharp — Midway (TIE)

Social Studies

1. Lucia Diaz — Belridge

2. Rocky Mankini — McKittrick / Fernando Barboza — Belridge /

William Martin — Elk Hills (TIE)

3. Irma Negrete — Elk Hills / Olivia Ortlieb — McKittrick /

Shelby Watts — Elk Hills (TIE)