Tackling the Math Super Bowl

By Nancy Gutierrez

Wilson Middle School students celebrated, during lunch last Wednesday, the outstanding work they put in at the Math Super Bowl competition held March 31 in Visalia.

Math Super Bowl is a competition for junior high and middle school students to test their problem-solving abilities. There were 18 Wilson students making up three teams who competed in the competition.

They tackled problems that involved computing interest, patterns, functions, interpreting charts and graphs, probability, number theory, discrete math, logic, statistics, algebra and geometry. Students were also tested on creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills.

The students practiced every day at lunch for two months prior to the competition. For these students math is something they enjoy doing.

"It's helped me in school. We were doing base system math before we started it in class," eighth grader Amanda Quiroz said. "The problems are challenging and it expands your knowledge."

That seemed to be the consensus of all the team members. Jessica Whitney said understanding math is important because many jobs require math skills.

At the competition the students competed in three different math tests. In the Pro Bowl competition, students are divided into teams of five students from different schools. They are given an open-ended problem to solve in 45 minutes.

The Power Bowl is an individual test that students work on for 45 minutes. The students must answer 30 enhanced multiple choice problems. In the team bowl a five member team from one school must complete 15 multiple step problems in 45 minutes. Award winners in the pro bowl competition included seventh graders Allison Renzi, Hailey Hartman, Kendrick Ragsdale and Breanne Banuelos.

All of these students received excellent ratings. Eighth grade winners included Peggie Wong, and Kiara Ragsdale who also received excellents.

The eighth grade team from Wilson received an excellent in the team bowl awards. Team members were: Peggie Wong, Jessica Whitney, Amanda Quiroz, Mikaela Smith and Kiara Ragsdale.

In the Power Bowl competition seventh graders Chelsea Kendall, Taylor Woods, Ashley McKee and Spencer Litwack received top awards. Peggie Wong received a top award for the eighth grade team in Power Bowl.

This is the third consecutive year Wilson students have participated in Math Super Bowl. The students were coached by Yuri Temmerman and Sandy O'Dell. With their encouragement many of the students will most likely be returning next year.

"It really helps me learn harder problems and get ahead of the game," Eighth grader Kiara Ragsdale said.

Math Super Bowl team members include: seventh grade; Haily Hartman, Chelsea Kendall, Desi Guerra, Kendrick Ragsdale, Taylor Woods, Erica Kalingking (alternate), Allison Renzi, Emily Tompkins, Breanne Banuelos, Ashley McKee, Jasmin Velasquez, Spencer Litwack (alternate); eighth grade; Peggie Wong, Kiara Ragsdale, Mikaela Smith, Jessica Whitney, Amanda Quiroz, Laura Brinkman.

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