Brown County Intermediate School is home to a second state-champion academic team this school year.

The sixth-grade Math Bowl team won state Feb. 24, following the sixth-grade Science Bowl team’s win in January.

Six Math Bowl teammates were also on the Science Bowl team.

“They were excited. I think the whole school could hear them yell,” said Annette Fields, who’s been the Math Bowl coach since the intermediate school was established in 2013.

“I never dreamed state champion,” she said. “We went against 131 schools, so I was happy with top three.”

Fields said this was a team of hard workers. They came in during recess to practice and worked on equations during study hall.

This year’s competition theme was probability and data analysis. In initial rounds, BCIS earned 27 points out of a possible 32, tying with New Castle’s Wilbur Wright Elementary School. But Brown County won in the tiebreaker rounds.

Brown County even scored higher than a school that’s dedicated to science and math, said BCIS competitor Bradley Arndt.

Fields and Principal Trent Austin gathered the team in her classroom to announce the results.

Immediately, the students asked if they could get their phones to text their parents the news.

“We pretty much just jumped for joy,” Sarah Callahan said.

“We were prepared to look down the list to find our name, but not having to look down the list, and (to be able to) look at the very first one, we just all jumped out of our seats and screamed. It was great,” Milly Patrick said.

Patrick was one of four squad captains, who were chosen based on effort, attendance, effort and ability.

“I thought top 10 or 20, but not first,” Joey Dennison said.

Each squad answered eight questions during the competition at Custer Baker Intermediate School in Franklin. Students had either 30, 45 or 60 seconds to answer. One squad answered all eight correctly; the other squads missed one or two, Fields said.

“The ones sitting with me waiting for their turn to go up, they were answering the question and then whispering to me ‘Is this right?’ They were doing the work right along with their teammates at the table,” she said.

Out of the 60 students who tried out for Math Bowl, 15 were chosen after taking a practice test. Seven of the members had been on a Math Bowl team since third or fourth grade.

“It’s very competitive to get on,” Fields said.

Savannah Oden, Squad Three captain, said she joined Math Bowl to help improve her math skills. “It’s kind of like a tutor, but it’s with a group, so you’re not singled off,” she said.

Zoe Cox agreed. “I felt like I wasn’t progressing so I thought if I got in Math Bowl it would help,” she said.

The team started practicing in November for one night a week.

Londyn Koester said she liked the teamwork aspect.

“It wasn’t just you up there. You got to work with other people,” she said. “In Spell Bowl, you have to go up there and it’s, like, all on you. If you’re with a group you can talk with each other.”

Austin said he couldn’t be more proud of his school’s two winning academic teams, their coaches, and the parents who supported them.

“Their dedication demonstrates that excellent effort, along with positive attitude, leads to success,” he said.

“Having one state championship team is special, but having two state championship teams is outstanding.”

Are you smarter than a sixth-grader?

Can you answer the following questions from the sixth-grade Math Bowl competition?

1. What is 3/5 – 2/15? (30 seconds)

A. 1/10

B. 5/20

C. 7/15

D. 4/15

2. Bob decided to go on a diet. He weighed 230 lbs. at the start. He now weighs 175 lbs. What percent of his original weight did he lose? (45 seconds)

A. 23

B. 24

C. 25

D. 26

3. A group of four baked and decorated a cake. Gage ate 1/4, Paige ate 1/6, Saige ate 1/8 and Trish ate 1/12. How much is left? (30 seconds)

A. 1/8

B. 1/24

C. 10/24

D. 9/24

4. Roger has a bag filled with 2 red, 5 blue and 3 white marbles. If he pulls and then replaces one marble 30 times, how many times would you expect him to pull a white marble out of the bag? (30 seconds)

A. 10

B. 6

C. 15

D. 9

5. Using only 1s and 2s, in how many different ordered sequences can Jason write a sum that equals 4? For example, a sum of 3 can be written 1+2, 2+1 or 1+1+1. (60 seconds)

A. 2

B. 3

C. 4

D. 5

6. I am less than 1,000. I am divisible by 5 but not by 10. My only factors are 1, 5, 25, 53 and 54. What number am I? (30 seconds)

A. 500

B. 600

C. 625

D. 775


1. C

2. B

3. D

4. D

5. D

6. C

Source: Indiana Association of School Principals

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Suzannah Couch grew up in Brown County, reading the Brown County Democrat. A 2013 Franklin College graduate, she covers business, cops/courts, education and arts/entertainment.