above: Sixth graders crawl across an oversized map on the eve of the Middle School Geography Bee exam. The lesson - in proportions, ratios and scale measurements - was for math class. The geography content connects nicely to the year-long geography focus in sixth grade humanities, which culminates in a Model UN.
January is a busy time for competitive academics at Gordon.
National Geographic Geography Bee begins
On Friday morning, fifth sixth, seventh and eighth graders will take the exam for the first round of the National Geographic Geography Bee.
After a series of runoffs, the school champion will be determined on January 30th in a ten-student live quiz that has the entire Middle School assembly on the edge of their chairs.
Gordon's Middle School has participated in this national competition for over thirty years, regularly sending participants to the state championships and, in 2005, to the world championship (Karan Takhar '05).
Rhode Island LEGO Robotics state tournament
On Saturday, Gordon's eighth grade robotics team will compete at the FIRST LEGO League Jr. state competition at Roger Williams University. They are fresh off of their success at the qualifying tournament, where they won the robot design award and the performance award for highest scoring robot run.
Gordon Middle School robotics teams have competed at the state level since 2002, sending teams to the regional and national competitions and graduating alumni who lead on their high school teams. The Middle School teams are just one part of a science and engineering curriculum that reaches every student, in every grade, each year.
MathCounts team announced
This week, the Middle School MathCounts team was announced. Their weekly practices begin on Monday, leading up to the state competition on Saturday, March 2nd.
The team is made up of the students who got the top ten scores on the (optional) placement test offered each December. Gordon's teams have historically had strong representation from females, and it's a point of pride that this year's team has a 50/50 gender balance.
Gordon's math teams have dominated recent state competitions, earning first place in both the team and individual rankings twice in the past three years, resulting in strong Gordon representation on the Rhode Island team at the nationals.