College Wood students celebrate National Mathematics Pentathlon competition win


Fifty-nine students from College Wood Elementary comprised a team that won the 2023 National Mathematics Pentathlon competition and were honored June 27 at the Indiana Statehouse.

CWE has had a Mathematics Pentathlon team in previous years, but this was the first time it met the criteria to compete as a national team. The Math Pentathlon Institute determined the national champion by comparing tournament scores with other teams across the nation.

Mathematics Pentathlon is a PTO-sponsored, volunteer-run club for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. Club members learn to play five STEM-based interactive board games developed by the Mathematics Pentathlon Institute.

Erica Veerkamp, CWE PTO president, said club members had to have an adult volunteer their time in some capacity. She said the club often had 20 or more volunteers every week.

“It was a huge community effort to get this club off the ground,” said Julia Stanco, chair of the Mathematics Pentathlon Club at CWE. “In order to keep costs down we were able to get some of our supplies from the local Carmel Buy Nothing site. We reached out to neighbors who had run the clubs at other schools in the area. Even though some folks had moved out of state, they still took the time to share some best practices on running the club.”

In winning the competition, nine pentathletes won the Hall of Fame award, winning all five games; five pentathletes won Gold Medals; eight pentathletes won silver medals; 13 pentathletes won bronze medals; 11 pentathletes won Honorable Mention and 12 pentathletes won a Pentathlete Ribbon.

“I didn’t really even know I was doing math,” said Jeremiah Bollinger, a CWE kindergarten Hall of Fame winner. “I was just having fun.”

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