Waco ISD is proud to host the annual UIL Academic competition for all elementary and middle schools within the district. In recent years, we've had more than 500 participants on average at the elementary level and 400 on average at the middle school level.
UIL events span the curriculum - they are designed to complement and expand upon what students learn in the classroom, both through learning specific subject knowledge, and through learning skills that are valuable in many disciplines.
The great thing about UIL Academics is that students have opportunities to explore their areas of interest more in depth while working toward achieving goals that benefit the individual, the student's campus, and the district by developing skills that will last a lifetime.
Destination Imagination (DI)
The Destination Imagination program is a fun, hands-on system of learning that fosters students’ creativity, courage, and curiosity through open-ended academic Challenges in the fields of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics), fine arts, and service learning. Our participants learn patience, flexibility, persistence, ethics, respect for others and their ideas, and the collaborative problem solving process.
Teams are formed early in the fall semester and contain anywhere from 2 to 7 members. Right away, students begin planning and preparing their Team Challenge, which they will present to a panel of appraisers at the Regional Tournament held in February. Additionally, they begin fostering their teamwork and communication skills, which they will need to be successful in the Instant Challenge portion of the tournament.
Teams advancing to the State competition spend the month after Regionals fine-tuning their Team Challenge and teamwork skills based on the feedback given to them by the appraisers. Those who do not advance typically continue meeting on a regular basis to continue the growth and development of skills needed for the following year’s competition.
The Advanced Products and Performances Project (A.P.P) is an opportunity for our gifted and talented students to pursue their own interests through an engaging and meaningful project. The A.P.P. moves students from a basic project and teaches students the research process. The elementary program is designed to help prepare students for research projects in the rest of their academic career. At the middle school level, students will use the skills they developed in elementary and develop an action plan for an innovative idea to solve an everyday problem. Developing academic research skills, analyzing problems, and developing their creative innovation skills helps prepare our students for a successful academic experience and discovering how to get involved in what interests them.