Using Intellect and Building Confidence
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This year, 64 St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School students will participate in multiple categories of the Private Schools Interscholastic Association Competition. Teachers and parent volunteers work together to provide STA students with the opportunity to engage in academic competition with their peers throughout the state of Texas. PSIA is the most comprehensive academic extracurricular program in America for students in first grades through eighth grade. STA participates in ten areas and with students in 3rd-8th grades.

Students show their talents in the following areas:


Calculator Applications Contestants have 30 minutes to solve 80 problems based upon geometrically presented problems using a handheld, tapeless calculator.

Dictionary Skills Contestants use a dictionary (Merriam Webster Collegiate Dictionary 11th Edition) to find information quickly for a 30 minute test with 30 multiple choice questions

Listening Skills Contestants may take notes as they listen to the contest script on CD, and then use these notes as they answer objective test questions in 10 minutes.

Maps, Graphs, & Charts Tests include maps, graphs & charts and multiple choice questions derived from the Nystrom Desk Atlas, which students bring to the contest.

Mathematics In a comprehensive, multiple choice 30- minute math test, students are challenged in a variety of general math questions.

Number Sense Contestants use mental math to find high-speed solutions to math problems.

Ready Writing Students are given a choice between two prompts. Each prompt defines the audience and provides the purpose for writing.

Science Earth, Life and Physical Science information found in current textbooks, plus current science publications are tested using multiple choice.

Spelling As spelling words are pronounced, contestants may either write or print each word.

Vocabulary SAT preparation skills, including word usage, reading comprehension, and analogies, are honed through this challenging 30-item multiple choice test.

Art Memory Part 1: Contestants study the Art Smart Bulletin and take a 30-item multiple choice and true/false test over Art Elements and Art History information; Part 2: Students identify artist and title of 40 pieces of art.

On Site Drawing Contestants have 45 minutes to produce a freehand work of art based on a still life display consisting of 4- to 7 objects.

Modern Oratory Contestants select one of the topics listed for the current year, determine the critical issues, pros and cons, and cite support discovered in the research, then take a position and give a six minute speech defending and supporting point of view.

Music Memory Contestants take a 20-item multiple choice test over information from “About the Composer” and “About the Music”.

Impromptu Speaking Contestants will draw three topics and have three minutes to prepare a speech which must be presented without any notes or props.