Palos Heights School District 128 students achieved success at the 2024 South Cook Regional Math Bowl held at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights. (Supplied photos)

Palos Heights School District 128 students achieved success at the 2024 South Cook Regional Math Bowl held at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights. (Supplied photos)

2024 Math Bowl adds up to success for District 128

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Chippewa Elementary School first-grader, Jimmy Gushurst, 7, of Palos Heights, with his parents, Bryan and Meghan Gushurst. Jimmy took home first place for his grade level in the competition. 

By Kelly White

If you asked first-grader Jimmy Gushurst his favorite subject, he will tell you, simply, math.

However, Jimmy’s determination in the field led him to take home first place for his grade level at Palos Heights School District 128 in the 2024 South Cook Math Bowl.

“Math is fun,” Jimmy, 6, of Palos Heights, said. “I’ve always liked learning about math and numbers.”

Jimmy said multiplication is his personal favorite, but he prepared in all aspects for the Math Bowl prior to the event held with his fellow math teammates at Chippewa Elementary School.

“I feel really, really good about winning first place,” Jimmy said. “Some of it was hard and some of it was easy. I worked really hard for weeks before the competition.”

“I am so proud of Jimmy,” his mother, Meghan Gushurst, said. “He has worked so hard with the math team. I loved watching him understand a new concept and then apply those skills to other problems. He continues to grow in his love for math and that is the best thing to see as his mom.”

The 2024 South Cook Regional Math Bowl was held at Prairie State College in Chicago Heights.

The number of participants varies slightly from year to year, but this year about 20 districts sent teams of students to compete and there were approximately 225 contestants from 19 school districts represented.

Because of the number of students, the competition was divided into two days. Fifth- to eighth-grade students competed on May 2 and first- to fourth-grade students competed the following day on May 3.

The competition consisted of four parts designed to allow students to showcase their individual and team math skills. The individual events were 40 Mental Math questions (no paper/pencils), and 35 multiple-choice plus five short response Story Problems. The Team events were 10 short response problems. The second Team Event consisted of Ken Kens, logic puzzles, and visual pattern puzzles.

Palos Heights School District 128 has been participating since the inception of the competition, which was approximately the mid-1990s.

The scope and format has changed over the years and the facilitation has shifted from the South Cook Regional Office to Prairie Hills School District 144; however, the purpose and goal of the event was to be committed to producing lifelong learners that are college bound, career ready and able to compete in a global society, while as a department ensuring that classrooms are places where enriching, rigorous, and holistic learning experiences occur, while maintaining high expectations for our students, staff, parents and community members.

“As an educator, I think it is important for students to participate in activities that challenge their thinking, develop their critical thinking, and allow them to work collaboratively with others who share their ability in a particular subject are,” Gayle Greenwald, Gifted Programs Teacher at Palos Heights School District 128, said. “Prairie-Hills School District 144 created a slideshow of the teams from all participating districts for the Opening Ceremony and brought all students, coaches, and parents together for the awards ceremony. It was empowering for students to see so many others their age who share their interest in high level problem solving.”

Palos Heights School District 128 proudly had all four teams place in the academic competition.

Individual awards were granted to first-graders, Jimmy Gushurst – 1st place; Anthony Andrekus – 5th place; second-graders, Blanton Canadyn – 4th place; Leo Georgelos – 6th place; fourth-graders, Cooper King – 3rd place; Michael Amoroso – 4th Place; and fifth-grader, Pryor Kasmer – 6th Place.

“Since adopting newer curricular resources over the last several years, we have seen an increased excitement and engagement in math instruction from our students,” Supt. Dr. Merryl Brownlow said.

“The newer resources deliver instruction with a much more hands-on approach that fosters collaborative problem solving and student sharing of math concepts and ideas, forcing students to articulate their thinking. Students have commented on having a greater level of involvement in the problem-solving process through these approaches.”

regional 6 4 24 128 math bowl2

 

1 Comment

  1. Therese Lahart on June 8, 2024 at 8:34 am

    I give a big shout out to Mrs Walker, the math coach, of the whole primary first place team. The Chippewa students are fortunate to have her as their coach. Congratulations!



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