Students Sharpen Skills at Regional Math Olympiads – Elizabeth Coombs

It all adds up to fun and excitement this Saturday March 19 when the best 4th and 5th grade math students in greater Los Angeles meet for the Fourth Annual Linwood Howe Math Olympiads Tournament. That morning, Linwood E. Howe Elementary School will host 125 students from 16 schools and eight school districts, all vying to win a place among America’s young math elite. Teams from the other four public elementary schools in Culver City, El Rincon Elementary, Farragut Elementary, La Ballona Elementary and El Marino Language School, are also registered.

At 9 a.m., the students will compete in an individual round, 10 word problems to be solved in 30 minutes. Next, teams of five students will have 20 minutes for 10 more word problems. After a tie-breaking round, a team trophy will be awarded along with medals for the top seven individuals.

At schools like Linwood Howe, youngsters selected for the Math Olympiads program receive class- room or extracurricular coaching for the event. Many also administer monthly individual and team tests between November and March. Typically, the top scorers from the monthly school-based competitions move on to form teams for year-end Math Olympiads tournaments in March.

“What I like about this math enrichment program is that it combines the teaching of math skills with some essential life skills,” says Linwood E. Howe principal Amy Anderson. “Our ‘mathletes’ are prepped in critical-thinking skills, creative problem-solving and teamwork. That’s what employers today really look for—workers who can think out of the box and work cooperatively with co-workers.”

The Linwood Howe Math Olympiads is the only Southern California tournament for elementary schoolers that is sanctioned by the Mathematics Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools. MOEMS and its affiliates sanction Olympiads in all 50 states, Guam, the Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and about 30 foreign countries.

The public is invited to attend the lively “Solutions Sessions” with Principal Anderson. Using a big-screen projector, she will lead the competitors through a collaborative review of solutions to the individual-round questions at 10:20 a.m., and team questions at 11:40 a.m. A tie-breaking round, if needed, will take place at 1 p.m., and is also open to the public. (The individual and team test rounds are closed-door sessions, due to the need to maintain quiet and eliminate distractions.)

Linwood E. Howe Elementary is located at 4100 Irving Place, just off Downtown Culver City. Walking to the event is encouraged. Parking is available at metered spaces in the downtown area and in public structures on the north side of Culver Blvd. between Main St. and Cardiff Ave., and on the south side of Culver Blvd. between Irving Place and Main St.

For more information, please contact Elizabeth Coombs, [email protected] or (310) 741-1945.

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