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North Hills Elementary Students Engage in Puzzle-lympics

The events helps students to improve problem-solving skills in math, literacy, kinetic and visual perception and incorporates science and geography.

North Hills School District fifth and sixth-grade students engaged their brains in Puzzle-lympics at North Hills Junior High on Feb. 8.

The five-event, problem-solving tournament challenged students with unique, original puzzles tested and developed by West View's gifted education teacher Martin Richter. 

The event is the only one in the area devoted to puzzles such as these in an elementary school. The events helps students to improve problem-solving skills in math, literacy, kinetic and visual perception and incorporates science and geography. It meets several state academic standards in math, science and geography.

The five tournament events are: 

  • Big Toe - A super-sized version of tic-tac-toe designed for three to five players using an entire sheet of graph paper. 
  • Two-Part Strangies -  Contestants find a variety of associations between random nouns by completing Venn diagrams. It challenges students’ flexibility of thinking.
  • Protractor Treasure Hunt - Competitors track down a mystery object using a map with angle measure and segment length clues.   
  • Cracker - A race against the clock to break large composite numbers into prime factors. 
  • Krazy Kubes - Contestants assemble increasingly difficult designs using groups of blocks.

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