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March 20, 2014 by Staff Report | No Comments

GCCTM Math ContestWhen other middle school-aged youngsters were wearing pajamas, watching cartoons and eating cereal on a Saturday morning, a few local seventh and eighth-graders…

GCCTM Math Contest

When other middle school-aged youngsters were wearing pajamas, watching cartoons and eating cereal on a Saturday morning, a few local seventh and eighth-graders were sitting in a cafeteria wielding calculators and pencils. They were participating in the 2014 Greater Cleveland Council of Teachers of Mathematics Math Contest held at the middle school on March 8.

The purpose of the contest is to stimulate interest in mathematics among middle-school students. Students who are mathematically talented are able to find a broader field of competition, a chance to apply their knowledge and a chance to meet other students with similar interests.

Students from Cardinal Middle School worked in teams of three on four events during the contest. CMS was represented by two teams of seventh-graders and two teams of eighth-graders. The teams competed at Cardinal Middle School against approximately 80 other students from six other area schools.

The seventh-grade teams of Leona Mullet, Emily Soltis and Mikayla Vlach and Matt Carney, Kevin Hammitt and Jacob Volante each earned a blue ribbon. The eighth-grade team of Matt Stanziale, Hanna Traggiai and Brendan White also earned a ribbon. The remaining eighth-grade team of Anna Avalon, Patrick Lanstrum and Ella Rhodes earned a red ribbon.

At about 9 a.m., the contest got underway. The first event, Six Places to Start, presented seven problems. The first six problems had to be solved by the team before the seventh could be attacked because the answers to the first six problems were incorporated into the seventh problem.

The second event, Mental Math, had students working individually to solve two sets of mental math questions. Each set had 15 questions.

For event three, Hurdles, the team solved a sequence of problems. The first problem had to be solved before the team could dash to a designated point to pick up the next problem. This active event was a student favorite.

In the fourth and final event of the contest, each team of three attacked 20 problems known as The Pile. The teams solved as many problems as possible within a time limit.

The problems used in the contest consist of challenging problems of the types found in textbooks and other math contests. While algebraic techniques can provide an advantage in any problem-solving situation, all the problems can be solved by non-algebraic means. A committee of the Greater Cleveland Council Teachers of Mathematics prepared the contest questions.

Performance in the events is scored by a group of volunteers, often including teachers from the visiting schools. Each team receives an award.

The GCCTM math contest is held at various locations around northeast Ohio. This is the fourth year that Cardinal has been a host site. Many volunteers including teachers, staff and parents helped in making the memorable for all the students involved. There are plans for Cardinal Middle School to be a competition site again next year.

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