By INDIA KRUG – Indiana High School: known for its glittering Friday nights with boisterous fans surrounding a field stocked with hungry competitors. But another group of students completes challenges with a comparable level of intensity, with a calculator in their hand instead of a ball.
The Math Club, comprised of ambitious and intelligent minds, attends various competitions around the county, the latest being held at Clarion University. The club swept up some clean victories while ranking first place overall with seventh grader Chloe Williams taking second place, tenth grader Elena Bai taking fourth place, and eleventh grader Jesse Chiu taking fifth place.
These competitions are great learning experiences for the members, allowing them to develop a wider palate in different areas of math. Senior Eddie Chandler states, “Doing the different competitions has made me better with time management and has also made me better at solving a wider variety of problems. Do as well as you can in competitions, but don’t worry too much about them. It’s mostly just about becoming a stronger student of math and having fun solving difficult problems.”
Members of the Math Team also host regular clashes during tenth periods known as Math Madness, a series of matches with a style similar to the popular March Madness. Math Team members compete online against schools throughout the country, working to rack up points during the season to qualify for a higher bracket of the tournament.
Math Team coach Dr. Scott Layden says, “Math Madness is the first time I have seen a room full of math students jumping up and down giving each other high fives as they celebrated a last second comeback victory!”
Math Team not only aides in the advancement of these students’ mathematical dexterity, it provides opportunities for collaboration and critical thinking.
Senior Vince Birch, elected as the “Pope of Math Team” says, “Along with technical math skills, I also learned about teamwork through the club, mainly highlighted in the Math Madness special rounds that allow for collaboration. Working with other students, not only have I learned how to solve different problems, but I’ve developed different methods to come to the same answer while collaborating and putting together specific skill sets to come to a conclusion.”
Made up of students from all different backgrounds and interests, this team provides a place for math lovers to share their passion with one another. The competitions strengthen the friendships within the group and allow members to test their abilities.
For those itching to give Math Team a try, Dr. Layden shares, “Don’t be afraid to join the team. The way the competitions are designed it is impossible to ‘let the team down,’ because the competitions only count the best scores. Also, many students have surprised themselves at how well they have done.” Math Club is yet another example of the talent and teamwork the IHS student body displays.
[Photo courtesy of Vince Birch]
Photo Caption: “The 2017-18 IHS Math Club attends a competition at Clarion University.”