- Submitted by Karen Chapel
s Academic Games team won multiple State Championship titles at the State Tournament this March, qualifying the team for the first time ever to compete in Nationals. Forty Amerman students traveled to Grand Rapids with hundreds of other students across Michigan to play in teams of five in intense competitions beginning at eight in the morning and finishing with late-night playoffs ending close to midnight.
All three Amerman teams of third and fourth graders used their mathematical know-how to beat out all of the 43 other teams to jointly become Co-State Champions in Equations. One of the three teams also went on to claim the State Championship in On-Sets, a game of set theory. Five fifth graders earned a State Championship title in the more advanced version of Equations, as well as a State title in a complex game of symbolic logic titled Wff ‘N Proof. The successes of the Amerman teams earned Northville their first time ever qualification to compete in the Academic Game League of America National Tournament.
Ten Amerman students made the trek to Wheeling, West Virginia in April to battle academic stars from across the country. Not only did they have the formidable task of learning new national rules and a whole new game, they also had the disadvantage of being almost the only elementary students in a competition with over 50 middle school teams. Five students, Timothy Wu, Sai Anantapantula, Saaz Malhotra, Isabella Lee and Alex Ge, beat all the odds by placing third in the country in Adventurous Equations, and fourth in the nation in both Adventurous On-Sets and Presidents. (The latter historical game tests knowledge of American presidents).
The students all worked very hard for their success, practicing hours each week for over half the year and devoting one Saturday a month to regional competitions. Their work clearly paid off in spades.
State Championship winners in Equations were: Tejas Gumadavelly, Ryan Vig, Brett Arenberg, Liana Lau, Marcel Wong, Rohan Kodati, Austin Hu, George Fane, Pavani Pennathur, Arjun Dinesh, Sanjana Dhulipalla, Rithik Babu, Oliver Wu, John Bailey and Gowrav Mangipudi. The first five also won the State Championship in On Sets. State Championship winners in Adventurous Equations and Wff N Proof were Timothy Wu, Arvind Ganeshram, Sai Anatapantula, Saaz Malhotra and Isabella Lee. Winning first place in their state divisions were: Raymond Jiang, Alex Ge, Claire Wan, Nehaar Nimmagadda, Jean Xiong, (in Adventurous On Sets and Wff N Proof). Surbhi Neole, Annabel Yang, Athrey Gonella, Sara Bennett and Nicholas Kim (In Equations and On Words). Other division winners in the state were David Hargitt, Bhavya Kadiri, Bhavika Gummadi, Dhruv Patel, Jack Valenti (winning third place awards in Adventurous Equations, Adventurous On Sets and Wff N Proof) and Andy Maciejewski, Tina Stadnik, Krisha Patel, Rohan Erasala and Abby Deng (winning a second place divisional award in Adventurous OnSets and third place in Adventurous Equations).
At the national competition, two Amerman students received individual awards for ranking in the top 10 in the country: Timothy Wu in Adventurous Equations and Saaz Malhotra in Presidents.
A devoted group of Amerman parents coached the team: Karen Chapel, Kim Vig, Ganesh Narasimhan, Madhur Malhotra, Yang Yang, Katie Bis, Marsha Valenti, and Jeannie Maciejewski. Madhur was instrumental in making the national competition possible for the kids. Amerman principal, Stephen Anderson, supported the kids at every step and went to bat for them to gain board approval for their trips. Of course, the kids took home more than just their awards from their Academic Games experience. They brought home a slew of fun memories and a wealth of problem solving skills.
For more information about these games, go to the Michigan League of Academic Games website, mlagonline.com.