Friday, November 16 , 2018, 11:24 am | Fair 67º


Students Show Their Tower Power at Math Bowl

El Montecito School participants build tallest structure, breaking 10-year record

El Montecito School students keep an eye on their tower at Math Superbowl.
El Montecito School students keep an eye on their tower at Math Superbowl. (El Montecito School San Roque)

A decade-old record was broken by the sixth graders from El Montecito School San Roque at this year’s Math Superbowl competition which was held at the Earl Warren Showgrounds on May 31.

In the team competition, students were challenged to construct the tallest tower using just three sheets of paper, one yard of masking tape, and an optional paper clip in 30 minutes.

Participants were allowed to tape the tower to the floor, but otherwise, it had to be free-standing to be measured.

The ELMO San Roque students’ tower reached 7 feet, 9 inches. Not only was it the tallest of any grade in the event, but it broke the 10-year record for this construction activity.

The tower also was more than a foot taller than the second-place tower, which measured 6 fee, 6 inches.

Team members included Kincade Avery, Siena Kelly, Sofia Malvinni and Jillian Yager. The team began practicing for Math Superbowl in March, which includes individual tests, a team test, and the construction activity.

Discussing the team’s performance, Yager said, “We listened to each other and didn’t even argue.”

Avery described the team’s strategy: “We kept thinking about thirds and cylinders as we cut and rolled the paper to fit together.”

Malvinni said, “The simple plan is best. We didn’t make a base, but taped it to the floor.”

“ELMO San Roque has had many teams place in the top six in the construction activity during my years of coaching," said Mark Bates, the team coach.

"I would attribute this to the excellent communication between the team members in each class, their creativity, and their determination when an initial build fails,” he said.

The Math Superbowl competition invites fourth-, fifth- and sixth-grade students from southern Santa Barbara County to participate. More than 30 schools participate each year.

For more information about El Montecito School visit, or contact the admission office, 962-3091, or [email protected]

— Julia Davis Director for El Montecito School San Roque.


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