Texas A&M to Host High School Math Contest Oct. 23
COLLEGE STATION -- Hundreds of mathematics whizzes from dozens of area schools will gather at Texas A&M University next weekend to put their skills to the ultimate test during the 19th Annual Texas A&M High School Mathematics Contest.
The all-day mathematics extravaganza, scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 23, on the first floor of the E.L. Wehner Building on Texas A&M's west campus, will feature a series of team and individual competitions and exams in subjects ranging from Algebra I through Calculus. Students not only will vie for school bragging rights, but also trophies, ribbons, books and state-of-the-art computer software.
Registration is available online or the day of the competition beginning at 8:30 a.m. inside the Wehner Building. There is a $2.50 fee per student for each individual test and a $10 fee per school for any number of team projects.
For the past decade, Dr. Michael Stecher, associate professor of mathematics, has been organizing the popular Department of Mathematics-sponsored contest, which has seen a steady growth in participation since its inception in 1991. Last year, a record 400 students from 32 different schools showed up to compete in the tournament, which Stecher says gives students with a penchant for numbers, word problems and equations an exciting playing field of their own upon which to compete.
"It promotes the spirit of camaraderie and gives these kids the chance to come to Texas A&M and see a large university," Stecher says. "It's good that they can come to a place like this and see so many others interested in mathematics."
More than 100 students, faculty and staff members from the Department of Mathematics have volunteered to write exams, organize the events and serve as judges for various competitions covering subjects such as algebra, trigonometry and geometry. In addition to being recognized and given awards in individual categories, each winner earns points for his or her school. The school with the most points tallied by day's end also will be recognized and receive awards.
Top contest honors, however, are reserved for the two students with the highest scores in the Best Student Exam, which features a number of multiple-question, short-response word problems requiring a little more creativity than just general knowledge. These two students will each receive $1,000 scholarships to study mathematics at Texas A&M.
In addition, there are team projects in which groups of students collaborate on long, intricate, open-ended mathematics problems the week prior to the competition. On the day of the contest, they must provide appropriate examples and prove, or attempt to prove, their final conclusions. Finally, students also can participate in the equivalent of a mathematics spelling bee -- a lightning-fast, integer-factoring game known as the Buzz Contest.
Beyond the friendly competition and fun prizes, Stecher says if the contest can help students to cultivate a true passion for mathematics, it becomes a highly beneficial situation for everyone involved.
"I enjoy watching students from a school getting excited and happy when one of their classmates does well and gets an award," he says. "I also enjoy seeing these young people talking mathematics with each other and being excited about it."
For more information about the Texas A&M High School Mathematics Contest, including rules and a complete schedule of events, click here.
Contact: Chris Jarvis, (979) 845-7246 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Michael Stecher, (979) 845-3269 or email@example.com