Orange County Schools Compete At El Modena High In “Orange County Mathematics Field Day Program”

Hundreds of 4th-, 5th- and 6th-graders showed that it’s cool to be smart as they proved their math skills at the Orange County Mathematics Field Day Program at El Modena High School.

Top math performers from nearly 30 elementary and middle schools in north Orange County teamed up and practiced for months leading to the event, pouring over pre-algebra and geometry problems and learning mental math techniques to prepare for the competition.

Kathy Kim, a fourth-grade teacher and the math coach at Canyon Rim Elementary School in Anaheim Hills said some students, especially girls, shy away from doing well once they reach eighth grade.

Girls scored an average of 542 – 35 points lower than boys – on the SAT math section, according to 2004-2005 California Department of Education data – the most recent statistics available in revealing the gender gap.

“Some kids might be interested in trying out, but they feel like they’ll be labeled,” Kathy said. “What I try to let them know is you can be popular and outgoing and still be good at math.”

Fifth-graders from Anderson Elementary School in Garden Grove put their geometry skills to the test when constructing a boat out of card stock and a sticky label that was to hold pennies inside without sinking.


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