Three teams of students competed in the third and final meet of the WordMasters Challenge, an annual national language arts competition entered by more than 220,000 students annually. Pace fourth graders placed first in the nation out of 698 teams and the fifth grade finished first out of 706 teams. Third graders tied for fifth place in the country in the year-end cumulative standings.
Four students won highest honors for yearlong individual achievement: fourth-grader Rachel Kann placed among the six highest-scoring fourth graders in the U.S., while fifth graders Edan Davidai, Carter Frooman and Charlie Hirsch were among 14 fifth graders in the country to achieve perfect scores in all three meets.
In addition, several Pace students won highest honors for individual achievement in the year's final meet, held in April. Third-graders Harley Ryan and Sidney Silver, fourth-graders Robert Cushman, Jackson Hamel and Rachel Kann, and fifth-graders Margaret Bethel, Cole Campbell, Edan Davidai, Jack Ferguson, Carter Frooman, Charlie Hirsch, Tase Karamanolis, Davis Mathis, Blair Myers, Baillie Presten, Lily Reckford and Genna Schwarz all earned perfect scores in this meet. Nationwide only 113 third graders, 55 fourth graders and 131 fifth graders earned this distinction.
The WordMasters Challenge is an exercise in critical thinking that first encourages students to become familiar with a set of interesting new words (considerably harder than grade level), and then challenges them to use those words to complete analogies expressing various kinds of relationships. Working to solve the Challenge analogies helps students learn to think both analytically and metaphorically.
Though most vocabulary boosting and analogy solving activities have been created for high school students, the WordMasters have been specifically designed for younger students, in grades three though eight. They are particularly well suited for able and interested children, who rise to the challenge of learning new words and enjoy the logical puzzles posed by analogies.