From Harford County Public Schools:
Hickory’s top 4th and 5th grade math students recently won the Mathematical Olympiad Meritorious Achievement Certificate in this year’s world competition. To win the award, Hickory’s team outscored 80% of all other competing 5th grade teams from around the world. Sixteen of Hickory’s team of twenty-seven students scored in the top 50% worldwide, and two of them, Josh Zbozny and Brendan Altoff scored in the top 10%.
Approximately 38,000 students participated in this year’s Mathematical Olympiad. To compete, students had to apply problem solving skills and mathematical processes on a cold test, one containing problems which they have neither seen nor practiced. Each problem was timed (between three and five minutes) and students earned one-point per correct answer. Students’ scores were then added together to create the team’s score.
Here’s an example of one of the problems students had 5 minutes to solve:
Three friends play a series of 8 games. The winner of each game scores 8 points. Second place scores 3 points. Last place scores 0 points. At the end of 8 games, Keri’s score is 20 points. In how many games did Keri finish last?
Try this one which student Olympians had 3 minutes to solve:
How many 2-digit numbers have one digit that is twice the other?
Ms. Jessica Hoover, Hickory’s teacher of gifted & talented students explained that years ago a former gifted and talented teacher, Ms. Amy Gutierrez began Hickory’s entrance into the competition. Ms. Hoover brought Hickory back into the Olympiad beginning in 2008. She approached preparing students for the competition by increasing student perseverance using authentic problem-solving strategies first with partners and then on their own. Every lesson she conducted required students to use and cite the strategies.
Her co-teachers, Ms. Verna Hiser, Ms. Tiffany Edwards and Ms. Rana Walker also contributed to the students’ success by applying cluster-grouping and compacting practices which increased application of problem-solving strategies on problems of greater cognitive demand.
Congratulations to the Hickory Elementary Math Olympians!