Math is becoming increasingly important in our future, as jobs involve more analysis and technology. Any list of top jobs in the U.S. is full of occupations that involve STEM (science, technology, engineering, math). MBUSD is meeting this challenge by developing math enrichment opportunities for our students, with programs like Math Olympiad. This year, under the guidance of Lisa Tanita, Teacher on Special Assignment, all five elementary schools had robust Math Olympiad programs with 4th- and 5th-grade mathletes working on challenging math problems on a regular basis.
Solving word problems teaches logic, analytic thinking and problem-solving skills, which give students an advantage as they move into more advanced math classes. In addition, students work in teams, which provides an opportunity to learn about team roles, effective communication (including how to respectfully disagree), negotiation and conflict resolution, and leadership skills. Students of all levels can enjoy Math Olympiad, from students who have a talent for math to those who are struggling with basic concepts, and everyone in between. The only common denominator needed is a love of math.
Math tournaments and contests are fun ways to have friendly competition and showcase strategies to solve complex problems. This past year, MBUSD mathletes participated in the international Math Olympiad and Math Kangaroo competitions, Numbers Tournament in Temple City, regional Culver City E=mc2 Math Tournament, Los Angeles County Math Field Day, and our own MBUSD Elementary Math Contest.
This year’s 2nd Annual MBUSD Elementary Math Contest was held on May 2, 2019 at the Joslyn Community Center. Over 85 students from all five elementary schools participated, and the contest was adjudicated by MBMS Math Olympiad coaches, Aaron Cohen and Dina Mayzlin. Mathletes participated in a team round and relay race, and the top three teams competed in a nail-biting showcase round. Pennekamp took the top prize this year, edging out Grand View in the showcase round. Congratulations to everyone who participated!!