Math Team: Another Run at State

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Boring, difficult, and confusing are the words that pop into the minds of the majority of high school students when they think of math, but the students on the Benet Academy Math Team view these complex calculations in a much different light. This year, Benet’s math team is making another run at state after they recently came in first place at the ICTM Division 3AA regional math competition. Their first place finish is due to the tremendous help provide by the moderators: Mrs. Elizabeth Byers, Mr. Peter Drinan, Mrs. Rosemary Sterr, and Mr. Keving Helmick. The meetings are every Thursday after school from 3-4 p.m. between math team members who are in the same grade.

These meetings consist of performing practice problems in a packet and going over them with the help of the moderators and other classmates. The practice problems preformed replicate those that will be asked at the competitions. The competitions take place almost every month at various local high schools and even on Benet’s campus. The topics covered for each grade respectively include: algebra I, geometry, algebra II, and pre-calculus. Two-person, eight-person, and calculator competitions follow a combination of each appropriately, and the oral competition always has unique topics, such as Markov chains, Boolean algebra, conics, logic circuits, and many others. The state competition takes place on May 6 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

“I have greatly enjoyed going to math team practice, discussing fascinating questions with my peers and coaches. At competitions, I have consistently achieved high scores,” freshman Paul Skaluba said. Skaluba is fairly confident in Benet’s ability to perform extremely well at state, as he is hoping for a top five overall performance as a team. Skaluba is extremely grateful for the opportunity of participating on this year’s math team. He views math as a creative supplement, as he has become extremely interested in probability and number bases because of math team. The math team at Benet Academy has inspired students, such as Skaluba, to develop a devout interest in mathematics leading to success, not just at the math competitions, but for the future.

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