Academic Clubs and Contests
Academic clubs and contests at Compass are a great way to enhance your child’s homeschooling experience! These clubs and contests allow your child to meet peers with similar interests and introduce new avenues to explore topics of interest.
Super Spellers’ Club
The Super Spellers’ Club meets from 9:00 – 9:50 am on Wednesday mornings before Compass classes starting September 14. Students who are passionate about spelling will play word games and learn tips and tricks for spelling words from various categories, roots, and etymologies. Students will work from various practice spelling lists, participate in mock spelling bees, and will learn the Scripps spelling bee rules. All ages are welcome, and age-appropriate word lists will be distributed. Students who want to brush up on words for the Super Spellers’ Club are encouraged to visit the Scripps National Spelling Bee study website which contains word lists by origin and challenge words along with some word study games. Another resource for Super Spellers is the Merriam-Webster website which has fun word games for all levels. Homeschooled students do not have to compete in the bee or attend Compass to participate in the Super Spellers Club. Non-Compass students wishing to participate in this club are asked to register with a nominal $5.00 facility fee. If you want to participate in the Super Speller’s Club, reply through the contact page to receive the coordinators’ contact information.
Two separate math clubs meet from 9:00 – 9:50 am on Wednesday mornings before Compass classes starting September 14. The junior math group is geared toward younger students in algebra and lower and will use a curriculum drawn from Don Cohen’s “Calculus for Young People” and Julia Brodsky’s “Art of Inquiry.” The senior math group is for students in algebra and beyond. The clubs will tackle math challenge problems, creative strategies and problem solving, and practice tests. During the year, Math Club students will engage in Math Olympiads, pursue the AMC 8, Math Kangaroo, and compete in other local math competitions. Math Club students may also form a MathCounts team if there is enough interest. Homeschooled students do not have to attend Compass to participate in NOVATAG Math Clubs. Non-Compass students wishing to participate in this club are asked to register with a nominal $5.00 facility fee. For more information on participating in the NOVATAG Math Clubs, reply through the contact page in order to receive the coordinators’ contact information.
2017 National Geographic Bee (Wed. 1/18/17 at 4:30 pm)
Compass is the host site for the Greater Fairfax Homeschoolers Geographic Bee, a “school level” contest for the National Geographic Bee. The bee is an oral, Q & A format contest with preliminary, final, and championship rounds, if needed, to obtain a sole school level winner. The school level winner will take a written test to qualify to participate in the state level bee in April 2017. Homeschooled students in grades 4-8 may participate, subject to some residency requirements. Some students may want to take the “Where in the World” geography classes at Compass to hone their geography expertise. Homeschooled students do not have to attend Compass to participate in the Geographic Bee. Watch Compass announcements for the start of registration.
Junior Spelling Bee (Wed. 2/8/17 at 4:30 pm)
Senior Spelling Bee (Wed. 2/15/17 at 4:30 pm)
Compass hosts two annual spelling bees: the Junior Bee for students under age 9 and the Senior See for students are 9 and above. The Junior Bee uses past Scripps spelling word lists and is less formal to get kids comfortable spelling in front of an audience. The top two spellers from the Junior Bee are invited to participate in the Senior Bee one week later. The Senior Spelling Bee is registered and run as an official “school” level Scripps bee. The winner of Compass’s homeschool Senior Spelling Bee with be invited to participate in the Fairfax County bee in April 2017. Homeschooled students do not have to participate in the Super Spellers Club or attend Compass to participate in the bee. Watch Compass announcements for the start of registration.
2017 Compass Science Fair and Show-What-You Know Expo
(Tues. 3/28/17, 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm)
The Compass Science Fair will be held in conjunction with the 2017 Homeschool Family Science Night. The Compass Science Fair will be a judged science fair for students in 4th-8th grade (also open to accelerated 3rd graders). The Compass Science Fair is an introductory level science fair that does not feed into other regional or state competitions, however the guidelines and judging criteria are derived from several nationwide competitions. The Compass Science Fair can include projects that are Investigation or Invention in nature. A panel of judges will evaluate the science fair entries. Students will be asked to stand with their projects for a half hour and make a brief 3-5 minute oral presentation/explanation about their investigation or innovation to the judges. Ribbons will be awarded by grade level. All Science Fair entries will receive a participation ribbon.
The Show-What-You-Know Expo will also be held during the 2017 Homeschool Family Science Night. Homeschooled students in grades K-5 can show off a favorite science topic, invention, or hobby in this fun, informal showcase of students’ STEM interests and hobbies. Does your child love dinosaurs, sharks, Legos, or Minecraft? Does he collect shells, rocks, or insects? Does she like to build contraptions or tinker with robots? Interested in recycling, secret codes, or cooking? Any of these interests can be turned into a Show-What-You-Know exhibit! A “Show-What-You-Know” exhibit is a fun, low-pressure project or exhibit on any STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) topic that interests the student. It can be a great introduction to the idea of science fair projects. Show-What-You-Know should highlight and showcase something that the student is passionate about or will have fun with! The options are unlimited, but the topic should be something your child will love telling others about.
See past Science Fair Guidelines and the Judging Criteria as a baseline for the 2017 program. Homeschooled students do not have to attend Compass to participate in either the Science Fair or Show-What-You-Know Expo. Watch Compass announcements for the start of registration and updated guidelines.
2017 Quads Chess Tournament (Thurs. 6/1/17 at 9:30 am)
The Quads Chess Tournament is an annual chess event open to all area homeschoolers! Students are placed in groups of 4 with similar playing strength, and play three matches. The Quads Chess Tournament is a great opportunity as a first-time, beginners’ tournament, but more experienced players enjoy a morning of chess matches with Compass friends. Medals are awarded to the winners in each quad, and all participants receive a certificate. Watch Compass announcements for the start of registration.
If you have ideas for other academic clubs and contests, contact the director through the contact page to share your idea!