A bunch of numbers and mathematical operators are on the table.
Three competitors are looking at them, figuring out how to make the required answer.
Photo submitted for publication
Learning Enrichment Center fourth-grader Wesley Kiehl went undefeated at the recent Equations competition at Intermediate Unit 6 in Clarion.
At each player's turn, they pick one number or one operation that will be required, forbidden, or permitted, as part of the final equation, until one player puts the pieces together.
Students at the Warren County School District's Learning Enrichment Center (LEC) worked through just those situations at a recent competition at the Intermediate Unit 6 office in Clarion.
Math teacher Kellie Blasco took 24 LEC students in grades three through six to the competition.
Each group of three students rolled 24 dice. Some dice held the numbers zero through nine. Some showed symbols representing mathematical operations - add, subtract, multiply, divide, square root, exponent, and some others.
They put them into play, one at a time. Competitors may not win on their turn, so they had to be careful.
When someone found a solution, the group split up to play against other students.
There were three rounds in the competition, with two to five games in each round.
Of 120 students from eight schools in the competition, only a few, maybe five, according to Blasco, won every time.
One of those students was LEC fourth grader Wesley Kiehl.
Another LEC student, sixth grader Aidan Farrell, never lost, but, because he tied once, he did not receive acknowledgment from the competition's organizers for an undefeated day.
LEC missed the event last year and the students were excited to return, or go for the first time. "They like it," Blasco said. "The third and fourth graders are ecstatic about it."
Both the third- and fourth-grade team and the fifth- and sixth-grade team from LEC ended the competition in fourth place.
Two years ago, the then-fourth graders took second place. They were confident going into this year's event. After failing to bring home a trophy, "they were rather disappointed," Blasco said.