OGDEN -- Lamar Whited wants to be a meteorologist when he grows up, so he's doing everything he can to be a top mathematician in school.The Taylor Canyon Elementary School fifth-grader was at the Ogden School District's 14th Annual Math Olympiad, Tuesday at the school district campus at 1950 Monroe Blvd., competing in everything from measurements and egg drops to Frisbee mines and tangrams.
"It's been so much fun," he said. "I really liked competing in the quiz. They ask a lot of questions about area and perimeters and it really helps you learn math in a fun way."
During the school year, every elementary school in the district practices for the olympiad. The winners at the school level move on to the district competition.
"This is something the kids look forward to all year," said chairman Larie Yannetta. "Not only do the kids improve their math skills but they learn to work as a team and that is a very important life skill."
Yannetta said each year the olympiad has the same three activities -- Quiz Whiz, Krypto and Measurement. Other competitions are rotated into the competiton from year to year.
"We've got the egg drop this year, where the kids actually make their own container from five sheets of paper and one yard of masking tape," she said. "They then take the egg, drop it into their container and drop it from various heights. Whoever's egg stays unbroken wins. We've seen a lot of really interesting and creative ideas here today."
Bonneville Elementary School sixth-graders SamonA(c) Samono and Rebakah Ruiz teamed up to make their egg drop container.
"We have one sheet of paper on the bottom and then we made a cone for the egg to go into, but the cone sits inside this little table with legs," said SamonA(c). "After we put the egg inside, we covered it with shredded paper."
The girls were happy to report their egg survived after dropping it from several different heights.
Another competition involved several Frisbees strategically placed on a field. Each Frisbee had a number on top. Students had to run from Frisbee to Frisbee in chronological order.
"It was like a mine," said Rebekah. "If you landed on the wrong one a 'bomb' would go off. It was fun but it was hard too."
The measurement competition had students figuring out answers to questions as quickly as they could. One question posed was: "A watermelon weighs two pounds. How many ounces does it weigh?"
Students also had to figure out the diameter and circumference of signs and measure various angles.
Co-chairman Sue McMickell said students were awarded with blue ribbons after the competition.
"Dee Elementary School won the tangram competition this year," she said. "They have to fit seven puzzle pieces into 10 different shapes as fast as they can. Those kids were incredibly fast."
Rebekah said math olympiads should be held in all school districts because they teach several valuable lessons.
"They help you become a better person and they help you to work as a team," she said. "I want to be a chef one day and I'll need math skills for that. It's also fun to get together with kids from other schools and express the same interests."