UIL Academics

  • Welcome to the Steele UIL Academics Page!



    The University Interscholastic League (UIL) offers the most comprehensive literary and academic competitive program in the nation. It offers more than any other UIL division in terms of activities, with 22 high school and 18 elementary and junior high contests. More than a half million students participate in UIL academic contests.

    In addition, the UIL sponsors the Interscholastic League Press Conference is one of the nation's oldest, largest and most highly respected student press associations.

    The UIL contests, which exist to complement the academic curriculum, are designed to motivate students as they acquire higher levels of knowledge, to challenge students to confront issues of importance, and to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate mastery of specific skills.

    Click here to visit the University Interscholastic League Academics website

    The UIL events offered at Steele High School are:

    Accounting - Coach: Ms. Allison Fannin

    The contest will focus on the elementary principles and practices of accounting for sole proprietorships, partnerships, and corporations, and may include bookkeeping terminology, the worksheet with adjustments, income statement, balance sheet, trial balance, account classification, journalizing, posting, bank reconciliation, payroll, and other items related to the basic accounting cycle.

    Calculator - Coach: Ms. Amalia Kilpatrick

    The 30-minute contest shall include calculations involving addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, roots, powers, exponentiation, logarithms, trigonometric functions, inverse trigonometric functions, iterative solutions for transcendental equations, differential and integral calculus, elementary statistics and matrix algebra. In addition to straightforward calculation problems, the contest shall include geometric and stated problems similar to those found in recently adopted high school algebra, geometry, and trigonometry, pre-calculus and calculus textbooks, previous contests, and UIL materials related to the contest.

    Mathematics - Coach: Ms. Amalia Kilpatrick

    The 40-minute test will consist of 60 objective-type questions designed to test knowledge and understanding in the areas of algebra I and II, geometry, trigonometry, math analysis, analytic geometry, pre-calculus, and elementary calculus. Questions will be multiple choice.

    Number Sense - Coach: Ms. Amalia Kilpatrick

    The 10-minute contest shall include mental calculations of concepts from basic mathematics, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, analysis, number theory and calculus. Types of problems and concepts can be found on the Problem Sequencing Chart for the UIL High School Number Sense Test.

    Computer Applications - Coach: Ms. Allison Fannin

    Computer Applications focuses on word processing speed and accuracy, computer skills in database and spreadsheet, and integration of applications. Contestants will have the opportunity to process two printouts and the mandatory tie breaker. Each printout will be assigned a weighted point value, based on difficulty, which will be so indicated on the contest paper. The use of spell check/thesaurus functions included in a contestant’s software is encouraged.

    Computer Science - Coach: Mr. Shawn Cyr

    The purpose of the Computer Science Contest is to challenge high school students to study a broad range in the areas of computer science, to gain an understanding of the significance of computation as well as the details of programming, to be alert to new technology and information in computer science, to gain an understanding of the basic principles as well as knowledge of the history and philosophy of computer science, and to foster a sense of enthusiasm about computer science.

    Current Events - Coach: Ms. Nicole Manning

    The contest will focus on a basic knowledge of current state, national and world events and issues. “Current events” are defined as those which have occurred during the current school year. The content will consist of questions which will be posed in such a way as to allow for objective grading and an essay question that all participants are required to answer.

    Congress - Coach: Ms. Nicole Manning

    Congress is an individual contest in a large group setting. It models the legislative process of democracy, specifically, the United States Congress. Within this mock legislative assembly competition, contestants draft legislation (proposed laws and position statements) submitted to the tournament, and they research the docket of bills and resolutions dealing with real-world social and political policies prior to the contest to prepare their speeches. At the tournament, students caucus in committees, deliver formal discourse on the merits and disadvantages of each piece of legislation, and vote to pass or defeat the measures they have examined. Parliamentary procedure forms structure for the discourse, and students extemporaneously respond to others’ arguments over the course of a session.

    Spelling and Vocabulary - Coach: Jon Zimmerman

    The UIL Spelling and Vocabulary Contest promotes vocabulary development and precise and effective use of words. The three-part contest consists of multiple choice questions of proofreading and vocabulary and words that are written from dictation. Part I is a 15-minute period for written vocabulary. Parts II and III are words pronounced for the contestants.

    Literary Criticism - Coach: Ms. Lisa Magnusson

    The 90-minute contest requires knowledge of literary history and of critical terms, and ability in literary criticism. Students are tested over material on the reading list and required to select the best answers involving judgment in literary criticism. Students must also analyze literary passages not on the reading list. A tie breaker is required in which the student must write a short essay dealing with a specified topic about a short literary passage.

    Ready Writing - Coach: Mr. Jon Zimmerman

    Contestants write expository compositions. They are given a choice between two prompts, each an excerpt from literature, publications (past and present), or speeches. Expository writing explains, proves, or explores a topic in a balanced way, allowing the argument and the evidence given to be the deciding factor in the paper. Descriptive or narrative passages may be used to illustrate or reinforce an idea or point, but they must be clearly subservient or incidental to the purpose of exposition. The composition is judged on interest (60%), organization (30%), and correctness of style (10%).

    Science - Coach: Ms. Kendal Hollick

    The purpose of the Science Contest is to challenge high school students to do a wide range of reading in the areas of science, to gain an understanding of the significance of experiments rather than to recall obscure details, to be alert to new discoveries and information in the areas of science, to gain an understanding of the basic principles as well as knowledge of the history and philosophy of science, and to foster a sense of enthusiasm about science and how it affects our daily lives.

    Social Studies - Coach: Mr. Tony Fredrickson

    The purpose of the Social Studies Contest is to challenge high school students to read widely and deeply in the areas of social studies. Particularly, students will be required to:

    • Expand and apply their understanding of the nature of geography and the physical setting of the earth to physical and cultural environments.
    • Expand and apply their understanding of the governmental systems.
    • Expand and apply their understanding of historical trends, movements and eras, the impact and significant of time and place, cause and effect, and change over time.

    Lincoln-Douglas Debate - Coach: Ms. Nicole Manning

    Lincoln-Douglas debate provides excellent training for development of skills in argumentation, persuasion, research, and audience analysis. Through this contest, students are encouraged to develop a direct and communicative style of oral delivery. Lincoln-Douglas debate is a one on-one argumentation in which debaters attempt to convince the judge of the acceptability of their side of a proposition. One debater shall argue the affirmative side of the resolution, and one debater shall argue the negative side of the resolution in a given round.

    Informative Speaking - Coach: Ms. Nicole Manning

    The purpose of this contest is to stimulate an active interest in current affairs at the state, national and international levels, and to teach the student to present extemporaneously in a clear and impartial manner the facts about a subject as they appear in the best available sources of information. This contest is an exercise in clear thinking and informing the public on the issues and concerns of the American people. The objective is to present information orally in an interesting way, and an attempt should not be made to change the listener’s mind beyond presenting the information. The speaker has 30- minutes to prepare a speech on a topic they draw and are allowed to use one note card.

    Persuasive Speaking - Coach: Ms. Nicole Manning

    The purpose of this contest is to train students to analyze a current issue, determine a point of view, and then organize and deliver extemporaneously a speech that seeks to persuade listeners to agree with that viewpoint. The objective is to reinforce the views of listeners who already believe as the speaker does, but even more so, to bring those of neutral or opposing views around to the speaker’s beliefs or proposed course of action. This oral contest should especially appeal to those who have a strong argumentative urge and who wish to advocate reforms or outline solutions for current problems.

    Poetry and Prose - Coach: Mr. Saul Wright

    In poetry interpretation and prose interpretation, the student is challenged to ascertain and communicate the ideas of a literary selection, based on the student’s understanding and research. The student finds a piece or on the topic and interprets them through voice and some movement. Oral interpretation, or the study of literature through its performance, can be defined as a demonstration of analysis, performance and communication skills offered publicly on behalf of literature.

    Journalism Events - Coach: Ms. Terri Reed

    Headline: This is a 45 minute contest. Test material shall consist of a fact sheet from which participants will read six short articles and write prescribed headlines for each.

    News Writing: 45 minute contest. Test material shall consist of a fact sheet from which participants develop an article.

    Feature Writing: One hour contest. Test material will consist of a fact sheet from which participants develop an article.

    Editorial: This is a 45 minute contest. Test material shall consist of a fact sheet from which participants develop an editorial.

    One-Act Play - Coaches: Mr. Saul Wright and Mrs. Charlci Ahrens

    The UIL One-Act Play contest is a competition where similarly sized Texas schools present an 18-40 minute play. The contest is held on a single day in the spring and is open to the public. There are five possible levels of competition: District, Bi-District, Area, Region and State. At each level of competition the judge awards individual acting awards as well as selecting two or three productions to advance to the next level of competition. After the awards are announced the Judge gives an oral critique to each of the schools.

    Director - Lisa Magnusson lmagnusson@scuc.txed.net

University Interscholastic League

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