Math Club is Cool!

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Math Club is Cool!

Andrew Liu, Adam Chaker

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Recently,
our very own math team competed in the Mathcounts® chapter competition and placed fourth overall in northeast Florida, earning them a spot in the state competition. The event was held February 23 at UNF and lasted a whole day. The team – Spencer Lewis, Andrew Liu, Joe Sinder, Lucy Sinavsky, and Jimu Li – will be going to the state competition on March 23rd in Daytona Beach.

According to team member Andrew Liu, at the beginning of the competition the team is sent to one of many testing rooms. The team is separated by cardboard dividers. They wait there for a while and listen to Joe’s bad jokes. Then the sprint round starts, and each individual team member works on their own packet. The sprint round is made up of 30 questions that you get 40 minutes to solve. Next, each team member is given the target round questions. The target round consists of 8 question that are given in pairs every 6 minutes. After that, the cardboard dividers are put up, and the team round starts. The team round is made up of 10 questions that the team works on together. When that is finished, there is no more math to be done until the afternoon, which is when the ciphering round starts. In the ciphering round, each team member is given four questions to solve, while competing against other schools’ team members to see who can get the correct answer first. Finally, the last event is started. The countdown round is a round exclusively for those whose scores were in the top ten. The objective is to beat other competitors in reaching the answer first in a game-show like way. One of our own team members, Spencer Lewis, beat 4 competitors in the countdown round for the 4th place spot.

Every Friday, the math team has practice afterschool. Near the beginning of the school year, they worked on warmup sheets with 20 questions each. However, as the chapter competition grew closer and closer, they’ve switched to practice packets with real test questions. Afterschool practice is usually about only an hour long.

The team this year is incredibly small. Only 5 people tried out for the team this year (4 team members, one alternate). If you think you might have some hidden talent for math, or just enjoy doing math, there’s nothing stopping you from trying out for the team. You don’t even have to be good at math; joining afterschool practice could just be something you do to fill-up blank time. Team member Andrew Liu says that “It’s fun to do anything with a group of friends, even math. Plus, there are free snacks.”

In conclusion, the math team getting to state is a pretty big deal. Being in the math team is not as boring as it sounds. It’s a fun thing to do afterschool with friends. Don’t be afraid to try out for the team next year. Besides, most of what you hear on the morning announcements is the sports teams. Let the school know who’ll actually get somewhere in their life.