Hamilton County Students Win Big in Statewide Academic Competitions

By Joe LaRue
This spring, the Indiana Association of School Principals held academic competitions for students of all ages across the state. Hamilton County students won or placed highly in a dizzying number of competitions, exemplifying the strength of local schools.

From the elementary school students who ran the table in the Science and M.A.T.H. bowls to the high schoolers who dominated their competition, Hamilton County students of all ages showed they have the metal to go up against anybody. Here’s a complete breakdown of the results for Hamilton County Schools.

Senior Academic Quiz Bowl

High school students across the state were given the opportunity to compete in the third-annual academic quiz bowl that tested their knowledge in history, literature, science, fine arts, current events, culture, sports and more. Teams participated in regional contests to determine qualification to the state final, held on March 5th at Purdue University.

Each team consisted of four players competing across rounds in head-to-head matchups against other schools. The preliminary area round are round-robin style, while the qualifying rounds are bracketed, with seeding determined by win/loss record; in the event of tied records, five tie-breaking categories come into consideration. Nine teams qualified automatically for the state finals, while seven others received at-large bids based on their average score in bracketed matches

Carmel High School qualified for the state finals in first place, with an average score in bracketed rounds of 552.5 points; the next closest team, Saint Joseph High School (South Bend) qualified in an at-large spot with an average score of 447.5 points per match. Fishers and Hamilton Southeastern high schools both qualified in at-large spots, with average match scores of 307.5 and 237.5 respectively. St. Theodore Guerin High School finished just 2.5 points behind the final at-large qualifier.

At the state final competition, Carmel High School took top spot and Hamilton Southeastern finished third, with Saint Joseph taking runner-up. Carmel finished third in the first edition of the quiz bowl, held in 2020, followed by second in last year’s quiz bowl.

Academic Super Bowl – Senior Division

The senior division for the academic super bowl was contested over six rounds, the first five focusing on one specific subject from either math, social studies, English, science or fine arts, with the sixth round an interdisciplinary round. The interdisciplinary round drew questions from all other subjects, with some questions requiring knowledge in at least two different subject areas.

Each round featured 25 multiple-choice questions, and each correct answer was worth one point, for a maximum score of 25 points. Seven teams qualified for the state final, held on May 7th at Purdue University. Teams qualified for only the subject field in which they were in the top seven.

Noblesville and Carmel high schools were the only county high schools to qualify in any of the subject fields, both doing so in the social studies area competition. Carmel finished in third, with a score of 18 points, while Noblesville came in sixth with a score of 17 points.

At the state finals, however, Noblesville roared back to finish in third place, behind Terre Haute North High School in first and runner-up Franklin Community High School.

Academic Super Bowl – Junior Division

In the junior division, which followed the same format but without a state final competition, Sheridan Middle School finished in the top 10 in two competitions in Class 4 (schools with enrollment of up to 255 students). In English, Sheridan finished 9th with a score of 19 points, while in social studies, they finished 8th with a score of 14 points.

Elementary Science Bowl

The Elementary Science Bowl was held as an online, three-round competition across four days, from January 24th – 27th. The three rounds consist of a team round, an individual round and an experiment round. For the team round, an unlimited number of competing students from each team collectively answered ten questions, with each correct answer worth four points, for a maximum score of 40 points.

The individual round saw four students per school compete, each answering fifteen questions with two points awarded for correct answers. The scores of each student are then averaged to get the team score.

The experiment round, also contested by an unlimited number of students from each team, featured ten questions, with each correct answer worth three points, for a maximum of 30 points. The final team score is the sum of the scores from the three rounds.

Schools were classified into separate divisions based on both enrollment in each eligible grade and the age of students competing. Fourth through sixth graders were eligible to compete. The five classes were:

  • Yellow, comprised of fourth graders only and with no enrollment requirements;
  • Red, comprised of fourth and fifth graders, and a total enrollment in the two grades of 162 or less;
  • Orange, comprised of fourth and fifth graders, and a total enrollment in the two grades of 163 or more;
  • Green, comprised of fourth, fifth and sixth graders, and a total enrollment in the three grades of 186 or less
  • and Blue, comprised of fourth, fifth and sixth graders, and a total enrollment in the three grades of 187 or more.

In the Blue Class, Fall Creek Intermediate School (HSE) took home the state title with a perfect score of 100 points. Hamilton Southeastern Intermediate and Junior High School (HSE) finished tied for second with Perry Meridian Sixth Grade Academy, each school earning a score of 99 points. Riverside Intermediate School (HSE) came in third place with a score of 99 points, but losing on tie-breakers. Sand Creek Intermediate School (HSE) came in sixth place overall with a score of 85.50 points.

In the Orange Class, College Wood Elementary School (Carmel) finished in the top spot with a blistering score of 101.50 points.

And finally, in the Yellow Class, Geist Elementary School (HSE) finished in third place with a score of 92.50, behind St. Richard’s School (Indianapolis) with 102.50 points and Creekside Elementary School (Franklin) with 99 points. Brooks School Elementary (HSE) finished fourth, with 88 points, and Thorpe Creek Elementary School (HSE) finished seventh, scoring 82.50 points.

Elementary M.A.T.H. Bowl

The M.A.T.H. Bowl, held in person, consisted of four rounds with eight multiple choice questions in each round. Correct answers earned one point, for a maximum cumulative four round score of 32 points. Teams could consist of a maximum of 20 students, with three students competing in each round, and a maximum of eight alternates. Students may only compete in one round.

The classifications are identical to those for the Science Bowl; however, schools may enter multiple teams, provided that there are at least 24 students competing for a minimum of 12 students per team.

The 2022 M.A.T.H. Bowl was held on April 12th, with host sites located across the state.

In the Blue Class, Riverside Intermediate School Team 1 (HSE) and Sand Creek Intermediate School (HSE) finished tied for state runner-up with 30 points each, behind Southside Elementary School (Columbus) and West Lafayette Intermediate, who tied for state champion with 31 points. Fall Creek Intermediate School Team 2 (HSE) finished in third place with 30 points, missing out on a three-way tie for runner-up on the fourth and final tie-breaker (greatest number of successive questions answered correctly).

Fall Creek Intermediate Team 2 finished sixth with 29 points, one spot ahead Westfield Intermediate School Team 1 (Westfield-Washington). The two teams also tied; tie-breaker one, the number of times each team answered the final question of each round correctly, gave Fall Creek the edge.

In the Orange Class, Carmel Clay Schools dominated the field. College Wood Elementary School (Carmel) took home the state title with a score of 31 points. They were followed in second place by Cherry Tree Elementary School (Carmel) with 28 points, one point ahead of Towne Meadow Elementary School (Carmel) in third place, with 27 points. Smoky Row Elementary School (Carmel) and West Clay Elementary School (Carmel) finished fifth and seventh, with 27 and 25 points, respectively. And Carmel Elementary School finished one point outside of the Top 10, with 24 points. A performance for the ages from Carmel Clay Schools, taking five of the top ten spots.

In the Red Class, St. Louis de Montfort Catholic School in Fishers, finished in fourth place on 24 points, tied with Akron Elementary School (Akron). Akron pipped St. Louis de Montfort on tie-breaker one, answering three of the final questions in each round to St. Louis de Montfort’s two.

In the Yellow Class, New Britton Elementary School (HSE) took top spot with 26 points, two points ahead of Maple Glen Elementary School (Westfield-Washington) in third place, with 24 points.  Thorpe Creek Elementary Team 1 (HSE) finished in fourth place with 23 points, one point ahead of Shamrock Springs Elementary School (Westfield-Washington) and Fall Creek Elementary School (HSE) who finished on 22 points each. It took all the way until tie-breaker four to give Shamrock Springs the edge; they answered seven consecutive questions correctly to Fall Creek’s five.

Rounding out the Hamilton County school in state top ten for the Yellow Class were Brooks School Elementary (HSE) in ninth and Monon Trail Elementary School (Westfield-Washington) in tenth. Tied on 21 points after four rounds, it again took all four tie-breakers to determine placement, with Brooks School getting six straight questions right to best Monon Trail’s five.

Around the State

Hamilton County students also took home recognition in several other contests and accolades.

In the 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Essay Contest, junior division, Clay Middle School student Barrie Terman took second place, while Creekside Middle School student Aparna Prasad took third place. In the senior division, Carmel High School student Kylee Nichols won first place.

The 2022 Indiana Academic All-State Cheer Team featured two Hamilton County students, Maria Hand of Westfield High School and Chloe Tapnio of Carmel High School.