When 2 + 2 = Creativity: Academic Challenge Cup Boosts Team Spirit
Academic Challenge Cup is a friendly academic competition that includes: Creative Convention, Equations, and LinguiSHTIK. Participants include second through eighth graders from the entire metropolitan area.
The focus of Academic Challenge Cup is creative problem solving, mathematics and language usage with skills involving teamwork, task organization, idea generation, democratic process and decision-making.
Academic Challenge Cup is held at Washington University and University of Missouri - St. Louis (UMSL).
How it works:
Equations and LinguiSHTIK Players compete against people from other teams in several rounds. The five team members' scores are tallied collectively to determine team winners.
Creative Convention teams of five work together to develop, design and construct a solution to a lifestyle problem; teams are scored on teamwork and creative problem solving.
Students learn to compete with the help of teachers and parents who coach interested students by playing the game and providing strategic tips. Some work throughout the school year on weekends or evenings; some work in their gifted classes.
Official LinguiSHTIK Rules
Official Equations Rules
The official rules for Academic Challenge Cup are available in a PDF format. For viewing and downloading, please make sure your browser is configured correctly. Adobe Acrobat plugin is required for viewing PDF files.
Growing by Paragraphs and Multipliers
1984: Started with two school districts, University City and St. Louis Public Schools (Kennard), playing Equations and Propaganda.
1995: Assistance provided by Tom Campbell and Chris Dadian for computer tabulations and seating assignments.
Up until 1995, we also had about 50 to 60 additional alternate team members; had to eliminate the option because of space limitations.
1996: More than 10 times the number of participants we started with! Registration is filled 4 weeks before the competition.
1997: 1,325 students from over 70 different schools participate in Creative Convention, Equations and LinguiSHTIK.
2002: In response to overwhelming community demand, ACC expands to a fifth day to be held at Fontbonne University (in addition to the four days at Washington University).
2004: In response to continuing demand (1,570 students in 2003,) ACC expands again from five days to seven. Creative Convention is held in January; Equations & LinguiSHTIK during March. All competitions take place on the campus of Washington University.
2007: More than 1,800 students participated in ACC 2007!
2008: GRC's largest registration ever - 1,990 students from throughout the metro area participate in Academic Challenge Cup.
What Do People Say About Academic Challenge Cup?
"The activities are terrific because they challenge the kids while fostering cooperation and creativity," said Kathie Dolan, a gifted specialist in the Ladue School District. Dolan has brought teams from the district for almost ten years.
"Because the competition identifies teams which have 'achieved a level of excellence,' but does not rank them or release scores, it bolsters the self-esteem of all the students," she explained.
"I love the challenge the game (Equations) gives my students. They use and develop many skills, including higher-order thinking-skills, social skills, and mathematical skills," said teacher Angela Zinkl. "The question of 'Why?' emerges, and students find themselves deeply interested in mathematical concepts. Having and sharing knowledge encourages my students to push themselves to understand harder concepts."
Parents agree. "Playing Equations helps my daughter think flexibly and creatively," said Anne Hanson. "It's a lot more fun than a math worksheet, that's for sure! Also, it is helping her learn not to give up when a problem is difficult. Gifted kids often have problems with persistence because they're used to everything coming easily to them."
"Socially, this game is full of interaction," said Zinkl. "At school students are constantly meeting and getting to know others. At the tournament, I find they genuinely enjoy meeting students from other schools who share the same interest and love of the game."
"I like the fact that it is a way for students to be part of a competition, but in a very relaxed manner," Zinkl said. "Many life lessons are learned from winning and losing, and healthy competition provides these life lessons for children. Because the students play and score each other in small groups with minimal adult interaction, the 'scariness' a child may feel is not as high as it is in other forms of competition, like a spelling bee where they are standing answering questions solo in front of an audience."
"I'm just thrilled Phoebe likes math enough to opt for it in a special after-school enrichment class," said Jenny Wolkowitz, mother of a third grader who participated in the math competitions with fourteen other students from Solomon Schechter School. "They practiced once a week for one hour. It is my hope that this will foster a life-long confidence in math. I thought it was really inspiring for the kids."
Other parents were equally enthusiastic. "She really enjoyed her experience," said Wendy Schneider, parent of 8-year-old Lelah, one of 40 participants from Truman Elementary in the Lindbergh School District. "I think the experience will allow her to be more inclined to try new opportunities for supporting her interests. I hope she continues to find fun in every learning opportunity."
"I was energized by seeing the room brimful of students eager and excited about their morning's experience," she said. "You could see a vibrancy to the children, and what's more, the joy of learning."
For more information regarding Academic Challenge Cup, please call 314-962-5920 or e-mail us at: email@example.com.
Academic Challenge Cup
More About Academic Challenge Cup and Rules
Equations/LinguSHTK Registration Form
- Washington University
Equations/Creative Convention Registration Form
Official Equations Rules
Official LinguiSHTIK Rules
LinguiSHTIK Playing Instructions
Competition Dates & Location