Social Studies UIL Prepares for New Season

With the help of a more experienced team, Social Studies UIL hopes to succeed this year.

Claire Mallet

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Social Studies UIL Prepares for New Season

Setting up a timeline to help learn, senior Erin Barry prepares for new season. This season marks Barry's third year on the Social Studies UIL team. “I’m really hoping that this year we can pull the team together, because two years ago when Mr. Marsh took over the team, we weren’t really sure what we were doing,” Barry said. “No one had experience and it was just a little bit of a mess everywhere.”

Setting up a timeline to help learn, senior Erin Barry prepares for new season. This season marks Barry's third year on the Social Studies UIL team. “I’m really hoping that this year we can pull the team together, because two years ago when Mr. Marsh took over the team, we weren’t really sure what we were doing,” Barry said. “No one had experience and it was just a little bit of a mess everywhere.”

Setting up a timeline to help learn, senior Erin Barry prepares for new season. This season marks Barry's third year on the Social Studies UIL team. “I’m really hoping that this year we can pull the team together, because two years ago when Mr. Marsh took over the team, we weren’t really sure what we were doing,” Barry said. “No one had experience and it was just a little bit of a mess everywhere.”

Setting up a timeline to help learn, senior Erin Barry prepares for new season. This season marks Barry's third year on the Social Studies UIL team. “I’m really hoping that this year we can pull the team together, because two years ago when Mr. Marsh took over the team, we weren’t really sure what we were doing,” Barry said. “No one had experience and it was just a little bit of a mess everywhere.”

Addy Bates, Reporter

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For many, UIL might be associated with fine arts or athletics, for some students, UIL is another way to show academic success. 

As captain of the UIL social studies team, senior Erin Barry has used this as a way to compete against other schools in different areas of social studies. Because of her success, Barry has advanced to different levels during her first two years on the team.

“I went into district as my first competition and it was very challenging,” Barry said. “Last year, our team didn’t do well enough for all of us to advance to regionals, but I placed well enough to advance on my own. I didn’t have a team behind me so it was stressful, so this year, I’m hoping we can pull it together.”

This year marks Barry’s third year on the team and she has been preparing in many different ways, ranging from making quizlets, maps and reading about this year’s topic.

“We have a book we’ve been studying [a book] called ‘Everlasting Flower: a History of Korea’ by Keith Pratt, so we’re reading that,” Barry said. “We also have a list of about 275 terms and people that we have to know, so we’re going through that and I’ve also encouraged [the team] to make Quizlets and to really nail those terms because they make up about two-thirds of the test this year.”

Even though competitions don’t start until spring, with more experience, Barry said she is hopeful that this season will be successful due to the fact that everyone is more experienced.

“I’m really hoping that this year we can pull the team together, because two years ago when Mr. Marsh took over the team, we weren’t really sure what we were doing,” Barry said. “No one had experience and it was just a little bit of a mess everywhere.”

The format for the competition is 45 multiple choice questions, along with an essay that the competitors have to write. According to sponsor Josh Marsh, he is also more prepared than years prior

“The first year was kind of difficult because I didn’t really know what I was doing,” Marsh said. “Luckily, there are a lot of good people at other schools who definitely can give some pieces of information.”

Because of the lack of funding to UIL social studies, along with other UIL academic competitions, the team has to really be motivated and willing to learn in order to be successful, Marsh said.

“[Some of the struggles this year] has just been getting people,” Marsh said. “It’s not just with social studies, it’s UIL academics across the board. We don’t really have that much buy in into the UIL academics, and it’s not just with social studies, there are other competitions. The biggest problem is just trying to get people to join and be motivated.”

Along with motivation, Marsh said that Barry has also had a huge impact on the team’s success and will be key for spring.

“[I enjoy] seeing the success and seeing the fact that Erin has all these great ideas to get the kids involved,” Marsh said. “She has gone above and beyond and I think her passion is very rewarding.”