Over 300 students took part in the second annual Middle School Math Olympics at Shuswap Middle School on Thursday, June 6 flexing their math muscles to earn points and possibly a medal for their “country”.
District Numeracy Co-ordinator Val Edgell reported there were 111 teams of three in grades 6-8 taking part. Each of the teams were assigned to one of 17 countries.
Students took part in five events. The first was was a written individual test. Two of the other events were problem solving stations where the students worked in teams of three to solve problems involving multiple strategies and steps.
The fourth station was a STEM challenge (like an engineering challenge using mathematical thinking). In this station the students were given a scenario where they had to build a scaffolding to repair a huge cathedral ceiling. They needed to build the scaffolding strong enough to support the cement mixer at the top. (They built it out of straws and the cement mixer was actually a cup of water).
The fifth station was a three dimensional math puzzle called Skyscrapers.
Over the lunch hour and pizza, students met in their assigned country groups and designed a bungee cord to keep an egg safe when it jumped off the top of the basketball rim in the gym. After lunch, and as the final activity, the “egg” bungee jump was held and final results were tabulated.
Edgell explains the teams earned points for every station they were at, depending on their success in the event. All points were tabulated for each country. The medals were awarded to:
Edgell sends out a huge thanks to the 22 student helpers from Heather Lawless’ classes at Salmon Arm Secondary (Sullivan), and the teachers and CEA’s who helped to run stations at the successful event.