Southmoreland students take part in 'Mental Madness'
Students in Southmoreland's elementary school gifted program recently matched wits with their counterparts from other area school districts during “Mental Madness” — a first-time event held at Mt. Pleasant.
The title of the function was inspired by the game “Minute to Win It,” and it featured 26 game stations for students in fourth through sixth grades in the junior-high school gymnasium, said Mt. Pleasant teacher Rachel Long.
During the event, students had to choose their game strategies and decide what games to focus on based on the level of difficulty and point values for each, along with which lines to play were shortest.
Also taking part were students from Mt. Pleasant, Greater Latrobe, Franklin Regional and Penn-Trafford.
Mt. Pleasant Area students have traveled to other districts for many competition events in the past, Long said, so they were eager to host a multi-school event close to home.
“We have a wonderful venue, so I thought it would be nice to take advantage, and it turned out well,” Long said.
The event was originally slated to be held on the school's football field at Viking Stadium, but the potential for rain moved it into the gym.
Many people contributed to the success of the event including junior-senior high school principal Ken Williams, who was very helpful in planning and preparing for the event, Long said.
In addition, high school students belonging to the Social Emotional Assessment and Learning program manned the 26 game stations to assist the younger students.
Southmoreland gifted adviser Lisa Shinsky said she took 12 students to the event.
Shinsky is no stranger to this type of event hosting a math and improv theater each year, she added.
“It was well organized, and the students had a lot of fun,” Shinsky said.
The students were required to complete the task at each station within one minute.
They were permitted to go back and retry each station as many times as it took to complete it in the allotted time.
“I think it was very challenging to try all the different games. I like that we get to interact with other gifted students from different school districts,” said Krista Polanofsky, a fourth-grade student at Norvelt Elementary School.
The point value of each game ranged from two to five points depending on the level of skill required to successfully complete them, Long said.
Southmoreland's Michael Klatt, 11, said his favorite game was Stack Attack, in which students were required to stack 28 plastic cups into a triangle-shaped structure. Competitors were then required to reform the cups back into a single stack. That game was worth five points.
If students completed all 13 games on one of two score sheets, they were awarded an additional 10 points.
Students competed against other students at their respective grade levels, Long said.
The top three winners at each grade level were recognized at the conclusion of the competition.
Each student attending received a certificate of participation.
For Mt. Pleasant Area, Alexandra Hamm placed first and Hannah Brown placed second in the fifth-grade division, while Logan Andrews placed first and Ben Yeskey placed third among the district's fourth-graders. Nick Formato placed third in the fifth-grade division for Southmoreland.
Kelly Vernon is a staff writer with Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-547-5722 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.