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"Mathletes" shine in annual Rich Morrow Math Challenge

Mountain Vista math challenge studentsNoah LiuA spectacular celebration of math took place at Smoky Hill High School on Saturday, Dec. 4.  The 21st annual Rich Morrow Math Challenge attracted some of the top elementary school “mathletes” from around the Cherry Creek School District. More than 200 masked-up third-, fourth- and fifth-grade students from 24 different schools came together to participate in a variety of math events. 

The first event is an Individual Round, with questions such as, “How many two-digit numbers have exactly one five?” This year’s top scorer was third-grader Noah Liu from the Challenge School, who got a perfect score! Next was the Team Round, in which students worked together on a tough problem set. This year’s top teams were Mountain Vista, Dakota Valley and Challenge School (for third grade), Mission Viejo, Dakota Valley and Cherry Hills Village (for fourth grade) and Mountain Vista, Coyote Hills and Cherry Hills Village (for fifth grade). Finally, all three grade levels joined together for the Relay Round, in which each question had three parts that had to be passed from one grade level to the next, and all parts had to be correct to get credit. The Relay Round is a wild event in which students are walking quickly from room to room to deliver their answers to the other grade levels, then returning quickly to plug the answers they receive back into more problems! The top three overall teams, based on cumulative scores from the three rounds, were Mountain Vista (coached by Robbie Nibecker), Dakota Valley (coached by Jennifer Knostman) and Cherry Hills Village (coached by Christina Marks). 

After the competition, Dry Creek Elementary fifth-grader Abigail Roth said "Best. Day. Ever."

Dakota Valley math challenge studentsChallenge School fourth-grader Hunter Davis said of the Relay Round, “You had to trust your teammates to solve the whole problem, and it was also fun running from room to room."

Cherry Hills Village Elementary math challenge studentsTwenty-four schools attended this year: Altitude, Antelope Ridge, Buffalo Trail, Canyon Creek, Challenge School, Cherry Creek Academy, Cherry Hills Village, Cimarron, Cottonwood Creek, Coyote Hills, Dakota Valley, Dry Creek, Fox Hollow, Heritage, Highline, Indian Ridge, Mission Viejo, Mountain Vista, Peakview, Red Hawk Ridge, Rolling Hills, Summit, Sunrise and Walnut Hills. Each school brought a team of nine students and most were coached by their school’s Gifted and Talented teacher.

Thanks to the dozens of volunteers who made the event possible. They included parents and students from the Challenge School, as well as high school students from around the district, some of whom had done the Rich Morrow Math Challenge when they were in elementary school. Thanks to Smoky Hill High School for allowing us to use their wonderful space again! 

The goal of this event (started by Challenge School teacher Rich Morrow in 2001) is to inspire a love of math and math challenge in young students. Last year’s event was online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and it was great to be back in person this year!  For more information, visit the Rich Morrow Math Challenge website

Posted 1/4/2022.