Close to 80 students from six ResponsiveEd campuses across North Texas recently took part in the first-annual ResponsiveEd Math Olympics held at STEM Academy in Lewisville.
Third- through eighth-grade students from Carrollton, Coppell, Corinth, and Garland Classical Academies, as well as Founders Classical Academy of Lewisville and STEM Academy, competed against each other in teams of three or four per grade level.
“Your gift and your talent is math. That’s where you shine and we are so happy to give this opportunity to you,” said ResponsiveEd Vice President of Academic Systems Glenda Simons, during the opening ceremonies.
ResponsiveEd Academic Administrative Assistant and event organizer Devon Anzalone, explains that are three rounds and a bonus tie-breaking round, each 10 minutes long, where students put their mental math skills to the test. Each student takes a timed test in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, proportions, and use of mathematical notation and then the scores are averaged to find the final team score. No calculator is allowed, only mental math.
“You will use mental math daily,” said ResponsiveEd Director of Teaching and Instruction and Director of Math Bonnie Wimberley, during her opening keynote. “Mental math is the development of logic that helps us analyze and recognize patterns in all other subjects. This is useful for the rest of your life.”
STEM Academy upperclassmen, along with multiple ResponsiveEd corporate and campus staff, volunteered to help the event run smoothly. Heather Schoenfeld, ResponsiveEd director of math, says teamwork is what made the event possible and the goal was, “to have students experience math in a competitive, but fun atmosphere to gain confidence in their skills.”
Schoenfeld says that because it’s only the first year for the math olympics, only Dallas-area schools were invited to participate. She hopes that after this year’s success, more schools across the state will be able to participate in the future.
Stephanie DeLeon and Melchor Tijerina, Garland Classical Academy teachers and team sponsors say that there was a lot of work and preparation that went into getting the students ready. “We met twice a week to go over different mental math strategies, explain the rules of the competition and how to represent the school in the best way possible,” says DeLeon. She goes on to say that the team was chosen after an informational meeting, a practice session and then a campus competition where those who scored the highest earned a spot on the team.
“I’ve never done math competitively before, but the practice questions we did helped us get ready,” said Daniel Sheley, a member of the Founders Classical Academy of Lewisville eighth-grade team. Daniel and his fellow team members Matthew Viseutine and Kabilan Murugan ended up taking home the first-place trophy in their division.
The STEM Academy sixth-grade team was confident they would win their division. “We all have different strengths, Kabir is better at some things and Muntasim is better at others,” Ishan Pandey goes on to say that they were able to put their strengths together to work as a team to win.
See a breakdown of all final results below:
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