Character Development

Beyond cognitive growth, we repeatedly hear from parents, teachers, and MP Coaches that the Mathematics Pentathlon Program is a highly effective Program to foster Character Development and that the National Tournament feature of this program offers so many opportunities for growth and positive life lessons to be learned.  In preparation for tournament all of us at the Pentathlon Institute encourage you to teach your students how to both win and lose with dignity.  With both club and classroom use  we suggest that students shake hands both before and after each game as we do at the Math Pentathlon Tournaments.  While learning the games highlight the importance of Teamwork.  This spirit is seen so many times throughout tournament season when Pentathletes who did not receive medals, still enthusiastically applauded the efforts of their school team members that did.  Use every opportunity to encourage students to demonstrate kindness wherever they can and show empathy when fellow students lose a game.  Foster the spirit that a loss can be a good thing when we learn from this experience.  After losing a game, ask students what they learned.  Once students can lose gracefully and win respectfully they gain self-esteem as well as the virtues of patience, cooperation, and integrity.  Make positive use of our tournament challenge system with first, second, and third opinions to teach them how to be respectful with adults and ones peers, while at the same time learning how to stand up for oneself.


Listed below are some of the Character and Cognitive Traits that students have the opportunity to develop through their participation in the Mathematics Pentathlon® Program and a National Mathematics Pentathlon® Academic Tournament.



Character Development Traits

  • Self-Confidence
  • Persistence
  • Empathy
  • Good Sportsmanship
  • Integrity
  • Self-Esteem
  • Decisiveness
  • Collaboration
  • Winning & Losing with Dignity
  • Flexibility
  • Patience
  • Kindness
  • Fairness
  • Attentiveness
  • Teamwork
  • Responsibility
  • Spirit of Inventiveness
  • Cooperation
  • Courage
  • Determination
  • Standing up for oneself (challenging opponents)
  • Treating BOTH adults and fellow Pentathletes with Courtesy and Respect (Pentathlete Code of Conduct)
  • Self-Discipline
  • Appreciation of Others’ Talents


Cognitive Growth

  • Active Problem-Solving
  • Geometric Thought
  • Number Sense
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Nonroutine Problem-Solving
  • Computational Reasoning
  • Scientific Thinking
  • Deductive Thought
  • Logical Reasoning
  • Critical Thinking
  • Conceptual Understanding
  • Algebraic Thinking
  • Inductive Thought