Math Olympiads

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Frostwood Math Olympiads Information for 4th and 5th Graders

Quick Facts about Math Olympiads:

  • Created in 1977 by Dr. George Lenchner, a public school math educator in New York. Last year nearly 150,000 students from 6,000 teams worldwide participated in the Olympiads. 49 of the 50 states and about 30 other countries were represented.
  • Program is only open to school teams, students cannot compete individually
  • Five (approximately 30 minute) contests per year, once per month, November – March

Details of Frostwood Participation:

  • Contests will be given at Frostwood, graded by Parent Coach with scores submitted on-line
  • Frostwood will have separate 4th grade and 5th grade teams, which practice the same problems but compete only against their grade level
  • “Team score” is the sum of the highest 10 individual scores after the 5th contest, so there is little pressure on any one individual team member
  • Time commitment: Wednesday mornings before school (7:00 – 7:50 AM) from October through March. Five times per year contests will be administered during this time, the other weekly meetings will be practices.
  • Awards will be given after the last contest and we will have a team party
  • See September Tiger Tales articles for sign-up instructions

Why this Particular Math Competition is So Great:

  • Focus is on problem solving skills and mathematical thinking, great brain exercise (similar to solving logic puzzles) and fun for the students
  • No calculators, just old-fashioned brain power
  • Advanced (higher grade level) math knowledge is NOT necessary, students are tested more on how many problem solving strategies they can employ, not on knowing algebra or middle school geometry
  • Problems are diverse and will appeal to a variety of thinkers (those with good spatial sense and good number sense as well as those who are great at organizing their thoughts)
  • Detailed solutions with follow-up problems (for practice and exploration) are provided by the organization

For more information:

From the MOEMS Contest Problems Volume 3 Book (edited by Richard Kalman and Nicholas J. Restivo):

“Think of each problem as a small doorway that opens into a large room of mathematical thought. You want to be in that room. There you will find a wealth of concepts bundled together into one or more solutions to that problem. There you learn to think mathematically.”

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