Math was the star Nov. 7 at the Louisiana Elementary Math Olympiad at Kenilworth Science and Technology School.
Hundreds of people from across Louisiana packed the school gym to cheer on fifth-graders who spent their Saturday testing their math chops at the Olympiad.
The results added up to victory for students from Copper Mill Elementary in Zachary and the LSU Lab School in Baton Rouge. The two schools combined to take all four of the top spots at the Olympiad, which drew students from 51 schools in 14 towns and cities throughout Louisiana, including Brusly, Destrehan, Gonzales, Jackson, Mandeville, Plaquemine, Port Allen, Prairieville, Thibodaux and Walker. The statewide event, held Nov. 7, was open to students from all public, private, parochial, charter and home schools in Louisiana.
Gavin Malden of Copper Mill Elementary in Zachary took home first place in the “old school” math contest; Alex Wu of LSU Lab School came in second; William Iannitelli of Copper Mill was third, and Aadit Narayanan of LSU Lab finished fourth. Those students won prizes, including an iPod Touch, Kindle Fire, Kindle and an iPod Shuffle. Their teachers also were awarded with gift certificates.
Kenilworth, a Baton Rouge charter school for grades 6-8, developed and hosts the Olympiad, which is a one-hour paper-and-pencil test that includes multiple-choice questions that are aligned with Common Core standards. The concept behind the Louisiana Elementary Math Olympiad is to encourage students to participate in STEM studies and to celebrate their successes.
Czarina Walker, founder and CEO of InfiniEDGE Software, in Prairieville, was the featured speaker at the Olympiad. Walker, a Baton Rouge native, started the company as a teenager and has built it into one of the top tech and software firms in Louisiana.