Twenty-two Oxford students, grades 3-6, competed in the annual Academic Games tournament held March 1-3 in Grand Rapids.
The tournament, organized by Michigan League of Academic Games (MLAG), challenges students’ thinking skills in the subjects of language arts, English, history and mathematics, and is designed to make learning fun.
Oxford’s teams went up against schools throughout the state and won four state titles collectively, along with several first and second-place awards at the event.
“The Oxford teams did really great,” said Head Coach Connie Ginste. “All of our teams that placed that day were in the top half, so we’re really proud of them.”
The teams have practiced twice a week since September, for around two hours per session, in preparation for the competition.
“At practice, players first learn how to play the games. Then we teach higher-level academic skills than they are getting in the classroom. Even our third-graders are working with exponents, square roots, fractions and negative numbers,” said Ginste. “(Students) begin quickly to use higher level thinking skills and seek to learn more academic skills throughout the year to compete and beat their opponent.”
The games played during the Academic Games allow students to explore a wide range of subjects—from spelling, grammar and sentence structure; to world events and knowledge of Presidents; to basic mathematical operations.
Participating students were from Oxford Elementary, Oxford Middle School, Clear Lake Elementary and Kingsbury Country Day School.
Oxford’s Team Trouble, consisting of Clear Lake students Gavin Feiner, Jenna Duong, and Owen Pavlock, Kingsbury student Max Lovins, and OES student Luke Diegel, won four state championships in Equations, On-Sets, On Words, and Current Events.
Other teams competing for Oxford (named after board games) were Team Sorry, which consisted of OMS students Michael Duong and Alexandria Foster, along with OES students Brandon Harris, Landen Henery and Maisey Anderson; Team Trimasters, which included OES student Warren Boyne and OMS student Drake Krawczyk; Team Battleship, with Clear Lake student Molly Antoniou, Kingsbury student Henery Green, OES students Derek Kopec, Nolan Mauser and Jack Curtis; and Team Cash Collectors, which included OES students Dominic Cassise, Dominic Daversa, Joelle Henery, Carter Jacobsen, and Neil Haselton.
The teams were coached by Ginste and Debbie Duong.
An award ceremony will be held at Huron High School (2727 Fuller Rd.) in Ann Arbor on Saturday, March 18 to recognize their accomplishments.