Culver Students Who Count – and Can Count

Geoff MalemanNewsLeave a Comment

Fourth- and fifth-grade Mathletes from five Culver City elementary schools. Photo, Lois Frand

The School District’s fourth- and fifth-grade Math Olympians – or Mathletes – excelled last Saturday at Lin Howe Elementary during the 10th annual Los Angeles Countywide Fourth- and Fifth-Grade Math Olympiads Tournament.

Six school teams from the District, with five students on each, were among the 185 Mathletes who participated in academically challenging individual and team events.

In the individual event, fourth-grader Kylar Cheng from El Marino Language School earned a silver medal, scoring nine out of 10 problems.  Fifth-graders Julia Marcus (El Marino) and Montana Dettore (Farragut) received bronze medals with their scores of eight out of 10.

This was one of the most difficult competitions in the history of the event, with the median score of three, meaning that 50 percent of all the participants scored three or less.

Problems in the competition are not typical classroom math problems. For example, in the individual event, each Mathlete had 30 minutes to solve 10 problems such as: “The perimeter of a rectangle is equal to the perimeter of a certain square. The area of the rectangle is equal to 63. The side lengths of both figures are all single digit counting numbers. Compute the area of the square.”  (Answer below)

In the team event, each five-member team had 20 minutes to work together to solve 10 problems such as:

“A positive three-digit number is formed using three different digits. One of the three digits is a 7. One of the digits is repeated to form a four-digit number. The three-digit number and the four-digit number are added together. Determine the smallest sum possible.”  (Answer below)

“Our goal in organizing the tournament,” said Jason Frand, the tournament’s chairperson, “is to create an environment where girls and boys who enjoy the challenges of mathematics can be with others who feel the same way. Hopefully, this will stimulate them to pursue STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).”

In the tournament evaluations, one proctor wrote “It was great for some of the strong math students at our school to see just how many kids love math as much as they do!”

Another remarked, “Thanks for providing this opportunity for so many mathletes to stretch their brains on a fun and challenging Saturday among other such scholars.

“Our team loved the preparation and the actual competition. Saturday’s event will be a lifelong memory.”

Many students agreed that “this was fun.”

Every Mathlete received a certificate of participation to represent his or her accomplishment of being selected as a tournament participant.  Most importantly, they got the thrill and experience of academic competition in a challenging and fun environment. The tournament ends with the Math Cheer :





The Lin Howe Math Tournament is sanctioned by the international Math Olympiads for Elementary and Middle Schools organization in New York.

The tournament committee spent months preparing.  Its success is due to the commitment of the committee, especially parent volunteer Meera Ichharam and retired principal Rosie LaBriola, as office manager Anissa McCullen, teacher Greg Holman and Principal Dr. Kim Indelicato.

All the Culver City Mathletes and their chaperons:

El Marino Language School:  Blake Blechner, Camilla Huntley, Elijah Gelin, Julia Marcus, Kylar Cheng; Chaperons Liz Mejia

El Rincon Elementary:  JaeWon Kim,  Justin Oum, Nazira Paul, Ocean Adams Waters, Yohannes Tefera; Chaperon Principal Dr. Cassandra Ziskind

Farragut Elementary:  Aaryan Sharma, Elena Frigola, Hope Lee, Josh Lea, Montana Dettore; Chaperon Chanda Vy

La Ballona Elementary:  Annelise Reilman, Fatima Nawaz, Ilias Bariam, Joshua Soong, Kaya Miller; Chaperons Nicole Wilson and Brittney Welch

Lin Howe Elementary:  Ava Steins, Flora Woo, John Mott, Lila Bragard. Lily Maxson, Linnea Sundeen, Lizzie Thomas, Mailee Johnson, Miles Facher, Riley Brown, Sam Alamillo, Sylvie Burmeister

Individual problem answer:  64 square units

Team problem answer:  1114

Mr. Maleman may be contacted at

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