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Can you beat a Whatcom County fourth-grader at math?

Breanna Chau, 10, a fourth grader at Blaine Elementary School, concentrates on a question asked aloud by the math test administrator during the mental math portion of the Whatcom County Math Competition on March 3, 2007.
Breanna Chau, 10, a fourth grader at Blaine Elementary School, concentrates on a question asked aloud by the math test administrator during the mental math portion of the Whatcom County Math Competition on March 3, 2007. The Bellingham Herald

Think you’re smarter than a fourth-grader?

Time to prove it.

Ethan Rockwell, who attends Silver Beach Elementary School, won the Whatcom County Math Championship among fourth-graders during the annual competition Feb. 27. Hundreds of students compete in the event, sponsored by the Phillips 66 Ferndale Refinery.

Ethan will get to go to Space Camp in Hunstville, Ala. The other individual winners also will get a trip to the camp or NASA Space Academy in Alabama: Ryan King, grade 5, Wade King Elementary; Kieran Murphy, grade 6, and Reese Watabayashi, grade 7, both Fairhaven Middle School students; and Anishka Duggal, an eighth-grader at Whatcom Middle School.

The NASA camp is a weeklong program where the kids will go on simulated missions, experience what it feels like to tumble in space or walk on the moon, and learn about the history and future of space exploration. Phillipps 66 is paying tuition and round-trip airfare.

You won’t get a trip to Space Camp if you ace this test, but you do get bragging rights. A warning — it’s tough if you aren’t brushed up on those math skills. Ethan, with his superb skills, got 21 correct out of 30.

Below are 12 of the 30 questions he was asked. To beat Ethan, you have to get at least nine of them correct. And he didn’t have multiple choice to boost his odds. No calculators, Google or help from mathmatically inclined friends (not even fourth-graders).

After taking the test, if you think you aced it, try the full test at blainesd.org/mathchamps. You’ll also find the individual tests for other grades and the team tests, along with the answers.

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