Description of the competitions

Math (6th-8th): designed to teach students how to complete math problems quickly which is a valuable skill in all facets of including engineering, accounting, completing a tax return, and even grocery shopping.  The test will consist of 50 multiple- choice problems to be completed in 30 minutes.

Number Sense (5th – 8th): designed to help students to use their ability to make quick mental calculations to make decisions. Concepts covered include areas such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, proportions, and mathematical notation.  Students are given ten-minutes to complete the mental math competition, consisting of eighty problems.  No mark other than the answer can be made on the answer document. Calculators and scratch paper are not permitted.  Five points are awarded for each correct answer, four points deducted for each incorrect answer and for each problem skipped.

Calculator Applications  (6th- 8th):  designed to stimulate the development of mathematical and calculator skills.  Goals are both intellectual and practical: developing mathematical reasoning and knowledge and requiring the application of problem-solving skills toward realistic problems.  Students will be given 30 minutes to complete a test of 80 problems.

Maps, Graphs & Charts (5th – 8th):  designed to help students learn to obtain information from a variety of maps, graphs, and charts including world maps, pie charts, bar graphs, and local area maps.   Students will be given an objective test containing approximately 75 multiple choice, true/false and fill-in-the-blank questions in a 45 minute time frame.

Social Studies (5th – 8th):  designed to encourage students to expand their knowledge of social studies, particularly in the areas of history, government systems, economics, citizenship, and culture.  Students are given an objective test containing approximately 40 questions which must be answered in 30 minutes.

Spelling (5th – 8th):  designed to give students exposure to a wide variety of vocabulary words.  it is not a contest of memorization, but instruction in the rules of the English language, meanings and definitions, and root words.  Students are given a written spelling test of fifty words, given at a rate of about five words per minute.  Punctuation and legible writing are considered.  A fifteen-word tiebreaker round is given as well.

Ready Writing (5th – 8th):  Contestants are given a choice between two prompts to analyze for the purpose of writing, format, audience, and point of view.  The product may be descriptive, narrative, or persuasive.  No limit in minimum or maximum number of words.  A dictionary and a thesaurus may be used.  The writing will be judged on interest (50%), organization (35%), and correctness of style (15%).  Students will be given up to 2 hours to complete.

Oral Reading (5th – 8th):  A maximum of six minutes is given for a contestant to read a self-selected piece of poetry aloud.  No costumes or props may be permitted.  The contestant will be judged on the understanding of the text, appropriateness of the selections, how well the performer prepared and made the meaning of the selection clear, and how well the performer captured the essence of the literary work.

Science 1 (7th) & Science 2 (8th):  Emphasis will be placed on knowledge of scientific fact, understanding of scientific principles and the ability to think through scientific problems. The contest was designed to test not only memory but the ability to critically think about science and scientific processes and concepts. Such concepts include, but are not limited to: matter and energy, equilibrium, force and motion, physical and chemical properties, the relationship between organisms and the environment, the components of our solar system, the composition of matter and genetics. The contest will build upon the vast body of changing and increasing knowledge described by physical, mathematical, and conceptual models.  Each test will consist of approximately 35 multiple choice questions which will be taken from current state-adopted science textbooks and the curriculum.  Students will be given 45 minutes to complete test.