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Fourth and fifth graders tackle math


May 22, 2012


Hillcrest Elementary hosted the regional Math Olympiad on Saturday, May 5, and teams of students delved into the labyrinth of geometric sense, measurement, probability, and algebraic sense, seeking answers to preset mathematical questions.

The 12 teams competing at Hillcrest were fourth and fifth grade students from Sunnycrest and Hillcrest Elementary. Across the state, over 2,700 students competed and scores will be sent to state coordinators with the final tabulation of scores coming back in June. Next year Hillcrest is looking forward to hosting over 28 teams for the competition.

Back in November, Lake Stevens teams began preparing and practicing for the Olympiad. They met weekly before or after school with their coaches, Eric Bates, teacher at Sunnycrest and Karrie-Ann Fiske, teacher at Hillcrest. They developed teams based on math strengths and compatibility and practiced a lot of math.

At the last practice session at Sunnycrest, 22 students, divided into six teams, were locked-in working on practice questions, preparing for the Math Olympiad.

Coach Eric Bates commented, “When these kids are at work they are serious, it is impossible to distract them!”

Take a look at the sample questions and test your mathematical skills.

Dee has nine cubes. She wants to build a large cube that takes more than nine cubes. What is the fewest number of cubes she would need to add to be able to build it?

Jillian’s backyard is 1,200 square feet. She just bought a rectangular trampoline that is 16 feet long. If the trampoline covers 12 percent of the backyard, then how wide is the trampoline?

I’m a mystery number. If you multiply me by 3 and then add 4 the result is the same number if you multiply me by 4 and then add 3. What number is the result and what number am I?

Math Olympiad

And these Math Olympiad kids love the challenge and they love learning. High praise came from Jacob Hubble, fifth grader on the Sunnycrest team for his coach, “Mr. Bates is fun! He makes up games for us to learn things, we get involved, instead of just watching him talking about a subject.”

At the Olympiad teams had one hour to problem solve a substantial math question, and had five 20 minute problems that included five questions.

Hillcrest coach Karrie-Ann Fiske said, “This was a great experience and it was amazing to see our Lake kids work so hard ­—these are very challenging problems. The competition relies on math reasoning, communication, team work and strong mathematical skills in all strand areas.”


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