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Heritage math teams compete with peers from Canada to Kazakhstan

The Heritage math teams are confident in their first year of competition. (CONTRIBUTED)
The Heritage math teams are confident in their first year of competition. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – In their first year to compete, third- and fourth-grade math teams at Heritage Elementary School showed their true colors in the on-line Caribou Mathematics Competition.

Heritage students clashed with 2,449 peers from around the world, including Canada, India, Kazakhstan and the United States on Jan. 15, third-grade teacher and team sponsor Lee-Cassie Walls said.

The fourth-grade team includes Ashton Fronckowiak, Emily Lee, Andy Moore, Tyler Nix, Isabelle Robley, Olivia Ruble, Bryson Smith, Brady Soenen, Harrison Strong and Sarah Vaughan.

Third-grade team members are Parth Kommidi, Vaishali Ojha, Shaivi Pandey, Ava Penland, Elizabeth Swaine and Alisha Tan.

Emily Lee placed first regionally, first nationally and twelfth in the world. Third-grader Ava Penland placed 219th globally and ahead of nine fourth-graders.

The Department of Mathematics at Brock University in Ontario, Canada developed the Caribou competition for grades 3-12. “Teachers or librarians can register their school,” Walls said. “Students compete using access codes the coaches acquire. ”

Students studied Khan Academy material and free Caribou practice tests, critical-thinking puzzles and history questions. All Heritage students answered their history question correctly: “Euclid is commonly referred to as … ‘The Father of Geometry.'”

The hour-long Caribou test had 12 multiple-choice questions. “I love the idea of an on-line competition because it allowed our students to compete against students from all over the world,” Walls said.

Walls commended parent volunteers Dr. Praveena Kommidi and fifth- and sixth-grade teacher coaches Sarah Stewart and Sharon Vanderwal.

“I would like to add how very proud I am of our very first third- and fourth-grade math at Heritage,” principal Dr. Georgina Nelson said.

“Lee-Cassie Walls is one of our new teachers at Heritage, and we’re thrilled she has taken on this wonderful group of students and coached them to success,” Nelson said. “I cannot wait to see what the future holds for these talented students and their sponsor.”

For more information, visit brocku.ca/caribou.

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