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Middle School Students Compete In Olympics Of The Mind

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - While all eyes are on Rio for the summer Olympics, here in Pittsburgh, the focus is on the Olympics of the Mind.

It was a battle of the brains at Settlers Cabin Park in Robinson Township.

Middle school students from the Hill District, Homewood and the West End competed in academic and physical contests.

The competition was based on what the fifth through eighth graders learned this summer at Higher Achievement Pittsburgh - an after-school and summer program dedicated to helping students succeed.

"It is the most exciting event of the summer. It's called our Olympics of the Mind and for the past five weeks, each of our classes has been doing social studies, science, math, and literature, Mondays through Thursdays, 45 minutes a day," Higher Achievement Pittsburgh's Wendy Etheridge Smith said.

The students put that knowledge to the test.

They were divided into groups and competed in three categories - the math bowl, the curriculum quest, and team building exercises.

"Oh my gosh, they love it and it's not just the chance to show the academics, but there's also some fun things, like they have a chant competition where they'll talk about why they are college ready and then they also have a banner competition to show some of their artistic side," Etheridge Smith said.

The students say all the studying and learning has been a lot of work, but they feel more prepared than ever for the upcoming school year.

"It's been an awesome experience and it helps kids with many different challenges they have with math and reading and social studies and science," seventh grader Samari Robinson said.

"It helps me learn and like, if you're being bad or not getting good grades enough or not averaging enough, it helps you improve better during the school year," eighth grader Mya Jackson said.

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