Student Events

The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit plans and supports county-wide programs and events to enhance student experiences outside of the classroom and to encourage excellence. MCIU is host to several regional events and competitions that move students forward to state and national recognition. All events are open to public and non-public school students.

24 logo
24 Math Tournament

In 1988, successful inventor Robert Sun embarked on a journey to teach children the relationship between numbers through a game. The result of his efforts was the 24® game, a unique mathematics teaching tool that has proven to successfully engage students in grades 1 through 9 from diverse economic and social backgrounds.

MCIU hosts an annual Math 24 Tournament for 4th – 8th grade students.

 

Dates

 

Grades 4 – 5  Grades 6 – 8

May 11 – 12, 2021 (Virtual)

Each district and/or non-public school is limited to 5 participants.

May 13 – 14, 2021 (Virtual)

Each district and/or non-public school is limited to 4 participants.

Pre-Registration will open in January 2021.

The cost for participation is $10 per student.

Event Information and Resources

Grade Bands:

There are 2 separate events that each serve a specific grade band:

  • Grades 4 – 5
  • Grades 6 – 8

Participants:

Each district or non-public school is permitted to send the following number of students per grade band:

  • Grades 4/5: students
  • Grades 6- 8: students

Time and Location:

The 2021 events will be held virtually.

Cost:

The cost per student is $10.

Spectators:

Spectators (e.g. parents of students) are not permitted to attend this event.

Volunteers:

Schools will be asked to provide at least one teacher volunteer to serve as a proctor for each grade band that they participate in.

Typical Schedule on Event Day:

  • 9:30 – 10:00: Teams arrive and sign-in to event
  • 10:00 – 10:20: Quick overview for proctors
  • 10:20 – 11:30: First two rounds of tournament
  • 11:30 – 12:15: Lunch (provided)
  • 12:15 – 1:30 Final rounds and awards

Cards/Decks used for Each Round:

  • Round 1: Single Digit Cards
  • Round 2: Double Digit Cards
  • Round 3: Variable Cards
  • Round 4 (Championship Round): Double Variable Cards

Registration:

There are two components to registration – Preliminary and Final.

  • Preliminary Registration will open in January and close in February Among other things, you will be asked to indicate your interest in participating and submitting contact information.
  • Final Registration will be a 3-week window that opens in April. You will be asked to submit the names of all participating students and proctors.

Important Links:

Registration

Registration opens in January 2021

Contact

Patrice Semicek
Project Consultant
psemicek@mciu.org
610-755-9483

Ben DeSantis
Project Consultant
bdesantis@mciu.org
610-755-9316

Christine Butterfield
Administrative Assistant
cbutterfield@mciu.org
610-755-9391

CalcuSolve Logo
CalcuSolve

CalcuSolve is a student event that tests students’ problem-solving skills related to mathematics. Students participate both individually and as part of a team (max of 4 students per team). During the course of the event, there will be two (2) team problems and seven (7) individual problems for students to work on.

Dates

CalcuSolve will be held on February 10, 2021 (Middle School) and February 11, 2021 (High School) virtually via the Zoom platform. Both events will be from 9am – 11:30am.

Deadlines:
Pre-registration: January 8, 2021
Registration: January 29, 2021

Event Information and Resources

What is CalcuSolve?
CalcuSolve is a student event that tests students’ problem-solving skills related to mathematics. Students participate both individually and as part of a 4-member team. During the course of the event, there will be two (2) team problems and seven (7) individual problems for students to work on.

What are the grade bands for CalcuSolve? 
Grades 7 – 8 (students should be enrolled in Algebra I or above to participate)
Grades 9 – 12 (students should be enrolled in Algebra II or above to participate)

What content will the questions cover? 
NOTE: Go here for sample problems that have been included in past events.
There is a wide range of content that will be covered and your students may be presented with questions on content they have not been exposed to yet. We highly recommend that participating students are enrolled in at least the following level of math classes to participate in this event:

  • Middle School: at least Algebra I
  • High School: at least Algebra II

What is the approximate timeline of the event?
The event will take place from 9am – 11:30am virtually via the Zoom platform.
Below is a general timeline of the event:

  • 9am – 9:15am: Welcome!
  • 9:15am – 9:25am: Team Problem #1
  • 9:25 – 10:45: Individual Problems (there will be a brief break included during this time)
  • 10:45 – 10:55: Team Problem #2
  • 10:55 – 11:00: Wrap-up
  • 11:00 – 11:30: “Overflow” time if needed

In general, what will the event look like for students?
NOTE: Go here for sample problems that have been included in past events.

  • Team Problems (#1 and #9): The problem will be shared with all teams. After the problem is shared, all teams will go into their own breakout room for 10 minutes to work on the problem. Within 10 minutes, they will need to submit their response via a provided electronic form. All groups will be required to include a picture of their work.
  • Individual Problems (#2 – #7): The problem will be shared with all participating students. After the problem is shared, students will have 5 minutes to work on the problem. After 5 minutes, a hint will be shared and then students will have an additional 3 minutes to work on the problem and submit their response. All students must include a picture of their work with their response.

NOTE: Students receive bonus points if they submit a response prior to a hint being given.

Is there a cost for attending the event?
There will not be a cost for the February 2021 events.

What technology will my students need?
All participating students will need an internet connected device (computer or cell phone) to access the Zoom platform. The device must be capable of taking photos, as students will be required to submit a picture of their work with all submissions.

NOTE: Please check with your administration regarding student participation in a virtual event on the Zoom platform.

What resources are students permitted to use during the event?
Students are permitted to use calculators during the event. The use of any problem solving apps (e.g. Photomath) is not permitted.

Will the event be recorded and are students required to have their cameras on?
No, the event is not being recorded. In addition, students will not be required to have their camera on.

Volunteers:
All participating schools must have one teacher attend the event.

Scoring:
There are two scoring categories – Individual and Team.

  • For Individual scoring: There are seven (7) individual problems and each is worth a maximum of 5 points. Students will earn 5 points if they answer correctly prior to a hint being shared and 3 points if they answer correctly after a hint has been shared. A hint will be given after students have had 5 minutes to work on the problem. After the hint is shared, they will have an additional 3 minutes to work on the problem. Students can earn a maximum of 35 points on the individual problems. 
  • For team scoring: There are two (2) team problems worth a maximum of 10 points each. Students have 10 minutes to work on the team problems and there will be hints shared. A correct answer will result in 10 points being awarded. In addition, the individual total from each team member (from the individual problems) will be added. Assuming a team has a full roster of 4 team members, the maximum team score is 160 points.  

Awards:

Registration

Pre-registration closed on Friday, January 12. Please contact Ben DeSantis (bdesantis@mciu.org) and Patrice Semicek (psemicek@mciu.org) if you have any questions.

Contact

Patrice Semicek
Project Consultant
psemicek@mciu.org
610-755-9483

Ben DeSantis
Project Consultant
bdesantis@mciu.org
610-755-9316

Christine Butterfield
Administrative Assistant
cbutterfield@mciu.org
610-755-9391

Dream it design it logo
Dream It Design It

Are you ready for a different type of professional development? Have you ever imagined what it would be like to do professional learning alongside your students? This January, we have an exciting and unique opportunity for teachers in grades 4 – 8 to explore the power of STEM, design thinking and the possibilities that they open in your classroom. You, and your students will participate in a design challenge along with other schools in Montgomery County! Come excited and ready to learn about how to implement design thinking in your virtual classroom!

In teams of 4-5, students will be tasked with addressing a real world need utilizing the design thinking process. Adding to the fun of this event, the specific challenge will not be revealed to students until the day of the event! This year’s focus is lifestyle in the COVID era.

**Teachers will earn 6 ACT 48 Hours**

Dates

NOTE: Dream It, Design It will be held during two time periods during the 2020-21 school year. These are separate events and schools can choose to attend one or both events. (Example: an elementary school could participate in January 2021, but choose not to participate in May 2021).

January 2021 Events

  • January 12, 2021 (Middle School)
  • January 13, 2021 (Elementary School)

Spring 2021 Events

  • April 21, 2021 (High School)
  • May 5, 2021 (Middle School)
  • May 19, 2021 (Elementary School)

IMPORTANT DEADLINES FOR JANUARY 2021 EVENTS:
Pre-Registration due date: December 2, 2020

Event Information and Resources

What is the event?
Dream It, Design It is a true design challenge for students in grades 4 – 12! Students will be judged on:

  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Challenge Success
  • Design
  • Presentation

Each team will be expected to come with a conceptual idea for the project and present their idea in a two-minute presentation.

Who is the event for?
This event is open to students in grades 4 – 12 from any school (public, private, charter, home, etc.) in Montgomery County.

Where is the event?
The 2020-21 events will all be held virtually via the Zoom platform.

Is there a cost for the event?There is no cost for teams/schools from public school districts within Montgomery County. The cost for all other school entities is $105.

How will teams be judged?
Please see the event rubric here.

Registration

Contact

Patrice Semicek
Project Consultant
psemicek@mciu.org
610-755-9483

Ben DeSantis
Project Consultant
bdesantis@mciu.org
610-755-9316

Christine Butterfield
Administrative Assistant
cbutterfield@mciu.org
610-755-9391

Governor's STEM competition
Governor’s STEM Competition

Pennsylvania is home to some of the most technologically diverse and scientifically sophisticated companies in the world. With these avenues for STEM employment existing in our communities, it is important that our students understand the concepts and skills that will be invaluable in moving citizens into these high value occupations. As such, Governor Tom Wolf and the Pennsylvania Department of Education are proud to present an annual themed competition focused on exposing students to these jobs, skills, and concepts.

Teams of high school students from across the commonwealth will be challenged to research, present, and design a device/project that can make the quality of life better for citizens of Pennsylvania. Teams will be provided a $500 stipend to design and build a prototype of their device/project that can accomplish a series of tasks, provide a solution to a community based problem, and improves the lives of Pennsylvanians.

In the identification and research of a team’s authentic problem, students will engage with their local communities to learn about STEM-related careers. Developing solutions to problems rooted in the community will build the skills necessary for students to be successful in STEM opportunities postsecondary. To culminate the experience, students will be asked to present their findings and explain the practical applications of their device to a panel of judges. The challenge will test teams’ communication, problem solving, and critical thinking skills while providing a unique opportunity to share their creativity with students from across the state.

The competition is open to students in grades 9 through 12 attending public, charter, private, and career technical education centers in Pennsylvania. Schools will select a team of up to five students. Students will work under the guidance of a teacher mentor approved by the school.

The official PDE website for the Governor’s STEM Competition is located here.

Dates

September 10, 2020
Registration opens.

October 30, 2020
Deadline for school teams to register.

January 15, 2021
Deadline for signed permission forms due to MCIU
Teachers must send completed forms to Patrice Semicek and/or Ben DeSantis (PLEASE do not send until you have received the completed form from all students!)

February 5, 2021
Deadline for teams to submit their project plan to MCIU (Patrice Semicek and/or Ben DeSantis).

February 19, 2021
Virtual Regional Event from 9am – 2pm

May 2021
PA STEM Competition Finals (Virtual)

Event Information and Resources

This section will be updated as new materials become available. 


RUBRICS
Teams are encouraged to look at the competition rubrics to gain a better understanding of how projects and presentations will be evaluated. Scoring rubrics associated with the regional and state-level competitions are located below:

VIRTUAL EVENT RECOMMENDATIONS AND PROCEDURES (NEW FOR 2021)
Both the regional and statewide event will be virtual in 2021. Below are recommendations and procedures for participating in the virtual environment.

 


FAQS

Who is eligible to participate?  
The competition is open to students in grades 9 through 12 attending public, charter, private, and career technical education centers in Pennsylvania. Schools will select a team of up to five students. Students will work under the guidance of a teacher mentor approved by the school.

How many students can enter on one team?
A team consists of up to five (5) students in grades 9-12. Please note that the members of the winning team at the regional qualifying competition must be the same members competing at the state competition in May.

My school is large – can I send more than one team? 
No. Each school, regardless of size, is limited to one team. Please contact us if are looking for ideas on how to narrow down to one team.

How does funding work? What costs are schools responsible for? 
All registered high school teams will receive $500 stipends to design and build a prototype of their prototype/device. Stipends will be provided to school principals, who will disperse funds to the school team as requested. Teams are not required to spend the entire $500 stipend, but must account for funds as part of its budget document. Any team that drops out of the competition and does not participate in the regional competition will be required to immediately return the full amount of the stipend. Once teams reach the state competition, they will be given an additional allotment of $750, and must implement potential improvements as outlined in their regional project presentation. Schools are responsible for all other costs (e.g. transportation). 

Does each team need an advisor? What are the responsibilities of the advisor? 
Each team must have an advisor that is approved by the participating school to serve in this capacity. This individual will work with the team as an advisor, but may not directly help with the development of the team’s solution. The role of the advisor is to supervise work sessions, provide support, and facilitate positive collaboration and teamwork. Judges reserve the right to disqualify or deduct points from any team that is found to have violated the rules or the spirit of the rules.

How does this competition work and how do students pick a project?
Each team will use their stipend to design and build a prototype of their device/project that can accomplish a series of tasks, provide a solution to a community based problem, and improves the lives of Pennsylvanians. In order to ensure equity, teams will not be permitted to use more than $500 worth of materials for their prototype (this includes donated materials/components). For example, a project cannot include a $700 component that was donated by a community sponsor. Teams cannot spend more than their project stipend and must provide proof of purchase for all components used in their creation. Mechanisms should be primarily autonomous; remote control is permitted to initiate a command, but not control to the function of a task. In the identification and research of a team’s authentic problem, students will engage with their local communities to learn about STEM-related careers. Developing solutions to problems rooted in the community will build the skills necessary for students to be successful in STEM opportunities postsecondary. To culminate the experience, students will demonstrate their creation at the regional competition to a panel of IU judges and must clearly articulate their understanding of STEM principles, Pennsylvania’s STEM needs, and the need to produce practical solutions to real world problems. The winner from the regional competition will advance to the state competition.

What will it look like on the day of the regional competition? 
There are two phases on the day of the regional competition:

  • Phase I – Prototype and Project Plan: Students will demonstrate their creation to a panel of IU judges and must clearly articulate their understanding of STEM principles, Pennsylvania’s STEM needs, and the need to produce practical solutions to real world problems. To support their creation, each team will submit a project plan to the judges. The panel of IU judges will use a rubric provided by the Statewide STEM Planning Committee to provide a score to each participating team.
  • Phase II – Project in a Box:  Teams will be given a box of materials and 30 minutes to complete a set of tasks. The project in the box activity will be separate from the prototype. This exercise will be an opportunity to demonstrate to the judges the cohesive nature of the team and earn points for teamwork, ingenuity, positive attitudes, problem solving, critical thinking, and creativity.

My team’s project is currently under patent regulations.  Can our team participate in the competition?
Yes. We are aware of the boundaries related to intellectual property. While we certainly understand that there are opportunities for certain projects/prototypes to be under patent review, please note that you might be asked questions by the judges you may be unable to answer. In this case, please notify and send appropriate documentation to the IU competition coordinator prior to the regional qualifying competition.

Are teams required to partner with a local business?
Yes. Part of the development, research, testing, and iteration of your device/prototype requires a local business connection to be made.

What happens if our local business we partner with offers to subsidize beyond the stipend? What if our local business donates materials to our device/prototype? 
Your team is required to remain within the $500 stipend for the regional level of the competition. If your team should receive any donated materials, the cost(s) of the materials must be noted in your budget summary and deducted from the stipend.. The same is required if your team moves on to the state competition, whereby you will receive an additional $750 stipend to put towards upgrades and improvements of your device/prototype.

Are we required to provide a multimedia presentation (i.e. video) of our journey through this process?
While not required at the regional qualifying competition, a video journal is required to be submitted if your team moves onto the state competition in May. It is highly recommended that each team documents their journey throughout the development of their project/prototype using multimedia platforms/devices.

Should our team include references when submitting our written proposal at either the regional qualifying competition or state competition?
Yes. Please note that due to the nature of the content you will be researching and presenting, we highly encourage all teams to follow APA formatting.

Are remote controls permitted to operate the device?
Mechanisms should be primarily autonomous. Remote control is permitted to initiate a command, but not control the function of a task.

Does our project/proposal need to be an original concept?
Yes.  Look at programs from prior competitions to learn more about and reference the student projects:

What are the prizes? 
Regional Competition: First place team will receive a trophy, certificates, and advance to the state competition.
State Competition: Each student member of the teams that finish first, second, and third at the state competition will receive a trophy and a college scholarships. The value of the scholarships is as follows:

  • First Place: $2,000 college scholarship for each team member
  • Second Place: $1,000 college scholarship for each team member
  • Third Place: $500 college scholarship for each team member

Registration

Contact

Patrice Semicek
Project Consultant
psemicek@mciu.org
610-755-9483

Ben DeSantis
Project Consultant
bdesantis@mciu.org
610-755-9316

Christine Butterfield
Administrative Assistant
cbutterfield@mciu.org
610-755-9391

knex stem logo
K’nex Design Challenge

2020 – 21 UPDATE: THIS EVENT WILL NOT RUN THIS YEAR.

The K’nex Design Challenge is an event for students in grades 4 – 8 where they build a project out of K’Nex pieces. Students work in teams of 4 to design and build their project. The top team from the MCIU Regional Event will be eligible to compete at the state competition. Students will be judged on the following criteria using this rubric:

  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Challenge Success
  • Design
  • Presentation
  • Budget (Parts Cost List)

Dates

THIS EVENT WILL NOT RUN THIS YEAR.

Event Information and Resources

CHALLENGE INFORMATION AND DESCRIPTION

2020 Challenge Description

Challenge Rubric


WHAT IS THE EVENT?

The K’nex Design Challenge is an event for students in grades 4 – 8 where they build a project out of K’Nex pieces. Students work in teams of 4 to design and build their project. The top team from the MCIU Regional Event will be eligible to compete at the state competition. Students will be judged on the following criteria using this rubric:

  • Creativity
  • Teamwork
  • Challenge Success
  • Design
  • Presentation
  • Budget (Parts Cost List)

 

WHO IS THE EVENT FOR?

The event will be open to 4th – 8th grade students from Montgomery County schools.

 

Registration

WHEN IS THE REGIONAL EVENT? 

This event has been cancelled for the 20-21 school year.

Contact

Patrice Semicek
Project Consultant
psemicek@mciu.org
610-755-9483

Ben DeSantis
Project Consultant
bdesantis@mciu.org
610-755-9316

Christine Butterfield
Administrative Assistant
cbutterfield@mciu.org
610-755-9391

academic competition winners
PA Regional Academic Competition

The Montgomery County Intermediate Unit hosts the Regional Academic Competition to select a single high school team to represent Montgomery County at the Pennsylvania Academic Competition to be held in Harrisburg.  Each school district may send one academic team of six students, with four students competing in each round against other Montgomery County high school students.  Schools determine the criteria for selection of their team; they may send members of an existing academic team from their school.  A school staff member must accompany each team.  Each team competes in two matches and each match consists of two rounds.  Questions will be drawn from Literature, American History, Contemporary Events, World History, Potpourri, and Science and will cover all time periods.  No study syllabus is required.

The purpose of the Pennsylvania Academic Competition is to provide an opportunity for high schools from throughout Pennsylvania to compete academically.  Now in its 29th year, Representative Joseph R. Pitts established the Pennsylvania Academic Competition in 1992.  Each of the 29 Intermediate Units selects one high school team and the winner from the previous year creating 30 participating teams.

Dates

2021 EVENT INFORMATION

The 2020 PA Regional Academic Competition will be held on March 9 – 10, 2021 virtually via the Zoom platform.

IMPORTANT DEADLINES
Pre-Registration: December 4, 2020 (now closed)

Final Registration: Please contact Ben DeSantis @ bdesantis@mciu.org for link
February 5, 2021

Registration

Contact

Patrice Semicek
Project Consultant
psemicek@mciu.org
610-755-9483

Ben DeSantis
Project Consultant
bdesantis@mciu.org
610-755-9316

Christine Butterfield
Administrative Assistant
cbutterfield@mciu.org
610-755-9391

middle school media competition
high school media competition
PA Media & Design Competition 

The PA Media and Design Competition (formerly the PA Computer Fair) is an annual event, typically held in March or April, that highlights Pennsylvania school students’ application skills and computer knowledge. Students are able to unleash their creativity, learn how to convey information more dynamically, and enhance the learning process.  This competition is open to all students in grades 6-12, in public or private schools as well as state-approved home-school programs.

The Middle School and High School Competitions are two separate events operating under the same rules but held the same day at the same place under a common schedule.

Be sure to follow the regulations posted at the website – PA Media and Design Competition.

Middle and High School Categories:

 

Dates

Registration Opens:  December 7, 2020

Registration Closes:  March 10, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Deadline for Uploads:  March 26, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Judging Takes Place:  Week of April 5, 2021

Awards Announced:  April 13, 2021

 

Event Information and Resources

Registration

Click here to register and for information on the PA Media and Design Competition – PA Media and Design Competition

Contact

Jackie Krail
Montgomery County Intermediate Unit
Office of Technology Services
2 West Lafayette Street
Norristown, PA 19401
610.755.9352 (phone)
jkrail@mciu.org
reading olympics logo
Reading Olympics

MCIU Reading Olympics is a countywide reading event that encourages students to increase the quality and quantity of books they read for enjoyment. The Reading Olympics Program is based upon the belief that good reading habits form the foundation for a productive and successful life. This program is currently active in schools in Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, and Montgomery Counties. In 2019, over 6,000 Montgomery County students participated in the Reading Olympics.

Dates

Registration Opens:  December 7, 2020

Registration Closes:  March 10, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Deadline for Uploads:  March 26, 2021 at 4:00 PM

Judging Takes Place:  Week of April 5, 2021

Awards Announced:  April 13, 2021

 

Event Information and Resources

UPDATES FOR SPRING 2021 EVENTS:

Book Lists

Registration

REGISTRATION NOTES AND INFORMATION:
 

  • Due to events being held virtually, each event is capped at 16 teams due to virtual capacity restraints on the platform hosting the event.
  • For preliminary registration, we just need the anticipated number of teams that you are planning to send. We will collect more specific information (e.g. names of students) in January 2021.
  • Schools may not register more than 5 teams for any one event. Schools with more than 5 teams will need to register for multiple events.
  • View an overview of virtual event adaptations by clicking here to open the slides in a new tab.
  • When registering:
    • Each elementary school must choose 3 times/dates that they could attend. Please do not assume you will get your first choice and make sure all times/dates work well for your school.
    • Each middle school must choose 2 time/dates that they could attend. Please do not assume you will get your first choice.  Please do not assume you will get your first choice and make sure all times/dates work well for your school.
  • Times/Dates of Events:
    • Elementary:
      • March 1, 2021: 1pm – 3pm
      • March 2, 2021: 1pm – 3pm
      • March 2, 2021: 4pm – 6pm
      • March 3, 2021: 10am – 12pm
      • March 4, 2021: 10am – 12pm
      • March 4, 2021: 1pm – 3pm:
      • March 5, 2021: 10am – 12pm
      • March 11, 2021: 1pm – 3pm
      • March 11, 2021: 6pm – 8pm
      • March 12, 2021: 10am – 12pm
      • March 15, 2021: 4pm – 6pm
      • March 16, 2021: 6pm – 8pm
      • March 17, 2021: 10 am – 12pm
      • March 19, 2021: 10am – 12pm
      • March 22, 2021: 1pm – 3pm
      • March 23, 2021: 1pm – 3pm
      • March 24, 2021: 10am – 12pm
      • March 24, 2021: 1pm – 3pm
      • March 25, 2021: 10am – 12pm
      • March 25, 2021: 4pm – 6pm
      • April 12, 2021: 1pm – 3pm
      • April 12, 2021: 4pm – 6pm
      • April 14, 2021: 10am – 12pm
      • April 14, 2021: 1pm – 3pm
      • April 15, 2021: 1pm – 3pm
    • Middle School:
      • March 1, 20201: 6pm – 8pm
      • March 3, 2021: 1pm – 3pm
      • March 17, 2021: 4pm – 6pm
      • March 18, 2021: 10am – 12pm
      • March 23, 2021: 4pm – 6pm
      • March 26, 2021: 10am – 12pm
      • April 13, 2021: 1pm – 3pm
      • April 15, 2021: 6pm – 8pm
    • High School:
      • March 22, 2021: 6pm – 8pm
      • April 13, 2021: 10am – 12pm

Contact

Ben DeSantis
Patrice Semicek
Project Consultants

Reading_Olympics@mciu.org