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Fourth-graders find math is a blast

Alissa Widman Neese • Jan 29, 2014 at 4:20 PM

What is a five-sided shape called?


How many pounds equal eight tons?

What is the mixed number of the improper fraction 4/3?

These mental math questions might appear challenging at first glance, but a group of 24 Sandusky Schools students had no problem doing the math on the evening of Jan. 22.

Fourth-graders representing each of the district’s elementary schools conquered these questions and dozens more at the 13th annual Streak Math Blast competition at the Sandusky High School auditorium.

Math Blast participants

• Hancock Elementary School — Ja’Toria Bonner, Mallory Chapman, D’Angelo DeQuichi, Nevaeh Solis

• Mills Elementary School — Demarieon Alexander, Ja Terryon Johnson, Michal Kesterson, Deshauntae Lee

• Ontario Elementary School — Dasia Allison, Elijah Hollingshed, Davorian Page, Zoe Smith

• Osborne Elementary School — Jalen Fouse, Mason Hayberger, Nevaeh Richardson, Kye Scott

• Regional Center for Advanced Academic Studies — Solomon Johnson, Nathan Majoy, Kierra Nickelson, Rachel Nitschke

• Venice Heights Elementary School — Javiar Abbott, Caleb Coleman, Patrick Grohe, Randy Weeks

The Regional Center for Advanced Academic Studies, the district’s new school for gifted students, won the contest and earned gold medals. Osborne Elementary School, meanwhile, claimed second place and earned silver medals.

“But no matter where they placed, they’re all winners for being here today,” former school board member Faith Denslow, the program’s coordinator, said after the competition ended.

The district’s Academic Booster Club sponsors the event, which Denslow said allows academically gifted students to showcase their talents in a fun way.

To compete in the Streak Math Blast, students must outperform their classmates on a series of qualification tests in December and January. Teams of four fourthgrade students then represent each school.

All students who participated received a blue school uniform polo with a “Streak Math Blast” logo on it.

Upcoming events

The Academic Booster Club will also sponsor these events:

• Feb. 20 — Fifth-grade Social Studies Challenge

• March 27 — Third-grade Spelling Bee

• May 30 — Eighth-grade $500 scholarship awarded, based on essay competition

Call 419-626-6940 for more information.

Math concepts in the difficult competition included algebra, estimation, elapsed time, fractions, geometry, measurement, patterns, probability, place value and two-step computation.

Students Solomon Johnson and Jalen Fouse, whose teams placed first and second, respectively, both said competing in the Streak Math Blast required several hours of persistent practice, both in class and at home.

“It was fun, but I was still a little nervous,” Johnson said. “We had practice math blasts at school, just to make sure we were ready.”

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