fernbrook third grade studentsWhat happens when you take Fernbrook Elementary students, add six weeks of math questions, and sprinkle in some Winter Olympics fun? You get Fermi math competition champions, of course!

This winter, 23 teams of Fernbrook students joined 49 other elementary-level teams from across the United States in the Fermi Off-the-Wall math program. Open to students in grades one through nine, Fermi is an internet-based math competition where participants work on weekly problems. Each problem contains very limited information; in order to solve it, participants must generate additional questions. Fermi questions emphasize the process rather than the answer, requiring students to use their communication and writing skills to come up with a solution.

The recent Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, provided a different flavor to this winter’s Fermi competition. During the six-week challenge, problems included references to the games’ white tiger mascot, Soohorang, and even gave competitors an opportunity to make their own curling stones. The last week of competition ended with a Pi Day scavenger hunt.fernbrook first graders

When the final problem was solved, two Fernbrook teams took top honors in their respective divisions: team “Subtracting Maniac Attackers” (first-grade) and team “The Bacon Animals” (third-grade).

TOP PHOTO: Fernbrook Elementary third-graders (L to R) Eleanor Wassenberg, Awashima Andzenge, Derek Jaeck and Nathan Como took first place in this winter's Fermi Off-the-Wall math competition at the third- and fourth-grade level.

RIGHT PHOTO: Taking top honors in the Fermi first- and second-grade division were Fernbrook students (front row, L to R) Logan Cornick, Gino Miller, Austin Lieser, Vinny Boisclair, (back row, L to R) Noah Bruun, Aaron Edelmann and Matias Vallejo.