Quiz Bowl is an after school activity available to middle school students, 6th-8th graders. It's sometimes referred to as "Wits Clash," "College Bowl," or "Academic Bowl" and is an excellent introduction to high school academic decathlons. Students work in teams to practice their knowledge of science, literature, math, social studies, language arts, sports, and pop culture. Speed, as well as knowledge, is important to success in competitions. This activity is a way for students to demonstrate and be recognized for their academic skills in a fun way, as well as learn how to work as a team to accomplish a goal. Our St. Mary's teams participate in up to five tournaments per year, competing against public and private school students in Bellevue, Omaha, and rural Nebraska.
St. Mary's students participate first in classroom spelling bees. The winners of the classroom spelling bees then get to compete in a school-wide spelling bee. The top two school spellers advance to the Omaha Metro Catholic Schools Spelling Bee where they will compete against approximately 50 students from 29 local Catholic schools. The winner of that competition advances to the Midwest Spelling Bee.
St. Mary's students in 4th-8th grades participate in a Geography Bee sponsored by the National Geographic Society. Students first answer geography-related questions in preliminary rounds held in their classrooms. Classroom winners then compete against each other in a school-wide geography bee. The winner of the school bee takes a written exam to qualify for the state competition, which is conducted orally at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Students in 7th and 8th grade are eligible for this competition hosted by St. Vincent de Paul. In September, those students who are competing are given a list of 15 books to read. Beginning in January, the teams meet once a week to go over questions regarding each of the books. In March, the teams compete with other Catholic schools in the area to see which team knows the most about the most books.
Duchesne Art Contest
The Duchesne Art Contest is for 5th-8th grade students and is held annually. Thirty pieces of art are chosen throughout the school year based on their technical and aesthetic qualities. A local art professional judges the contest and winning pieces receive a Tres Bien award. The artwork is displayed in a gallery located at Duchesne Academy and a reception and awards ceremony is held for students and their families.
Omaha Summer Arts Festival Young Artist Exhibition
The Omaha Summer Arts Festival Young Artist Exhibition is held annually in conjunction with the Summers Arts Festival. Student artwork is displayed at the Dale Clark Library in downtown Omaha. Ten pieces of art from students in 6th-8th grade may be chosen for display. Special recognition is given to exceptional pieces, and there is a recognition brunch held for students and their families at the end of the Exhibition.
Sarpy County Fair
The Sarpy County Fair is held yearly in the summer. St. Mary's students from all grades, K-8th, are eligible for this art show. Pieces are chosen throughout the school year based on their technical and aesthetic qualities and displayed during the Sarpy County Fair.