BEMS Scholastic Competitionsby Amy Wenger on May 15, 2014
Athleticism is a trait that can just as easily be exercised through the mind as it can be executed through the body. The scholastic victors of Bremen Elementary - Middle School's math and social studies teams have exemplified this notion eloquently in recent weeks.
The Academic Super Bowl teams compete in five different fields of study, including math, language arts, social studies, science, and interdisciplinary. According to social studies coach Rob Palmiter, students are given preparatory materials in October, which gives them sufficient time to prepare for competitions.
Palmiter's team, along with that of math coach Lana Mark, proved that it was definitely time well spent, as the students have racked up a number of wins since the first of the year.
Most recently, the Super Bowl tournament of May 3, held at Wawasee Middle School, saw the Bremen squads demonstrating their skills against 17 other teams in the academic junior division. Bremen was among those appearing in Class C, which are designations given to schools based upon their size.
"The format of the competition is 25 multiple choice questions, which the kids work together to answer," Palmiter explained. His team, consisting of 8th grade students Araceli Jimenez and Maisy Alvarado and 6th grader Logan Heller, correctly answered 15 of the 25 questions, which earned them a 1st place finish among the regional Class C contenders, as well as a tie for 3rd place overall among all of the schools appearing. The awards didn't end there, as the three teammates also grabbed a top ten standing overall within all Class C schools throughout Indiana. "We are really excited that all of their hard work paid off," Palmiter said.
Mark's math team has also had a victorious season, a milestone which is especially meaningful in that Mark is approaching her 30th year of academic coaching. Her team of math scholars braved a ferocious snow storm on February 1 to compete in a Math Counts contest at Notre Dame, where they landed in 6th place among all schools. This was followed by another 6th place finish at Huntington University on April 16, and a 2nd place performance during the Academic Super Bowl on May 3. That 2nd place standing was enough to propel the team to a 7th place status on a state level, for which each contestant will receive special recognition and certification. They will be receiving those honors during the year-end awards ceremony in June.
Members of the math team, who have participated at some or all of the recent events, include second year team captain Katie Cullers, Anna Leeper, Evan Manges, Aaron Brooke, Dylan Hines, Emma Hundt, Araceli Jiminez, Carter Filchak, Jacob Strehler, and Justin Zumbrun.
Mark is appreciative of the fact that Bremen places a strong level of value and importance to their academic programs, going so far as to institute a time during the week when no sports practices are held, typically Wednesday afternoons until 4:15. This gives students an opportunity to devote themselves to other extra-curricular activities, she noted.
"I think it's really special that Bremen makes time to recognize that there are other interests beyond sports," Mark said. "After all, these are the kids who will grow up to be the problem solvers of the world."