Math Pentathlon

We would like to invite you and your kids to get involved in our annual Fox Chapel Area Math Pentathlon Games. All FCASD K-5 students are eligible and encouraged to participate.

Registration is closed for the January-March 2023 Math Pentathlon

What is the Math Pentathlon?
This six-week after-school program strengthens basic math/logic concepts and skills through game play that integrates spatial, computational, and logical reasoning, culminating in a district-wide Game Day with the other FCASD elementary schools. Math Pentathlon is a wonderful way to build gamesmanship and skills in a fun and structured environment. Any child who enjoys board games with friends, learning, and logic puzzles will love Math Pen!

When does the Math Pentathlon group meet?
There are six practice sessions directly after school on Wednesday afternoons from January 25th to March 1st, culminating with a district-wide Game Day on Saturday, March 4th at Dorseyville Middle School.

What kind of games do the kids play?
Students will learn three games over six weeks. Games are divided among three age groups in order to be developmentally appropriate. Division 1 consists of K-1 students and has games that emphasize geometry, addition, and strategy. Division 2 offers games for grades 2-3 that focus more on logic, spatial awareness, and arithmetic. Division 3 targets grades 4-5 with games that address problem-solving with multiple variables. Games are rotated each year, so that students in the same division are applying new skills.

Is there a volunteering commitment?
This program is one of O’Hara’s biggest, and it is only possible through the support of volunteers. As such, it is expected that each participating student has a volunteer commit to at least two practice sessions from 3:45 to 5:00 pm. Volunteers hand out and collect game materials, answer student questions, and generally help out as needed.

Are clearances required to volunteer?
YES, ALL volunteers are REQUIRED to have clearances on file with the District. A badge will be pre-printed for you on the weeks that you sign up to volunteer. Clearance information can be found here.

How can I learn the game before I volunteer?
Game rules and info will be emailed out to all volunteers each week. If you have questions or would like more info on the games, feel free to reply there, or reach out to Note: unlike pre-2023 years, due to dismissal changes we will not have much time immediately before the session to go over the games; please try to get acquainted with the game beforehand!

What is Game Day?
Game Day is a one-morning event, in which our O’Hara Mathletes will play against those from Fairview, Hartwood, and Kerr Elementary Schools. Students wear their O’Hara Math Pen shirts and are randomly matched with students in a different school shirt. There is not a schoolwide winner; rather, it is an opportunity for students to apply all the strategies and rules they have practiced over the six weeks in a slightly more formal setting. The event is concluded with an award ceremony in which each student receives a medal from a principal and shakes hands/paws with the Fox Chapel Fox. Although Game Day is not required, it is a lot of fun and gives the kids a great sense of camaraderie and achievement.

May I volunteer on Game Day?
Yes, we welcome parents with clearances to volunteer on Game Day, primarily as ushers for the Mathletes. FYI, non-volunteers may not watch the “competition” and are asked to wait outside the cafeteria until the Mathletes have completed their games.

What does it cost to participate?
The registration fee is $30, which covers the expense of game materials, t-shirts, and medals. If you would like assistance with the fee, scholarship funds are available (instructions in the registration form).

How can I register?
Complete this registration form by January 10, 2023. NO LATE REGISTRATIONS will be accepted because of the need to purchase materials and plan adequately for such a large program.

What time is pick up?
Parents and guardians of participating students should arrange to have their children picked up promptly at 5:00 pm, unless they’re returning to the YMCA program afterwards. All designated individuals will need to show ID to sign out a child. We appreciate your cooperation with these procedures.

Still have questions?
Questions may be directed to Ben Rister, Math Pentathlon Chair, at