By: Erica Fatima
“Mathematics knows no races or geographic boundaries; for mathematics, the cultural world is one country.” -David Hilbert
There wasn’t a lot of fanfare, no cheerleaders or referee whistles were heard; as a matter of fact, the audience had to sit outside of the competition room. There was however, plenty of brain noise as the middle school math teams from Ralph Johnson Bunche, Samuel Martin Inman, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Jean Childs Young squared off in a one hour and a half match of intellectuality.
Starting with the Individual Written Test, students were given 45 minutes to respond to questions covering the following math topics: The Number System, Expressions and Equations, Functions, Geometry, Statistics and Probability, and Ratios and Proportional Relationships. Questions were meted out according to grade level, and calculators were not permitted at anytime during the competition.
(left to right) 8th grade team winners: Inman-1st, King-2nd, Bunche-3rd
After intense first-round competition, the teams had a “half-time” break. Math coaches met with their teams to discuss strategies, while parents, teachers and staff served as volunteers and provided the math-letes with refreshments.
The math-letes advanced on to the final rounds of competition which included; the Group Ciphering round, and the Individual Ciphering round.
(left to right) 7th grade team winners: Inman-1st, Bunche-2nd, King-3rd
(left to right) 6th grade team winners: Inman-1st, Bunche-2nd, King-3rd
Seemingly, in every competition there is an underdog, or as is the case in March-Madness collegiate basketball tournaments, there is a “Cinderella-story,” and APS’ 2016 Middle School Math Competition was no exception. Salena Parker, 7th grade math star at Young MS sat confidently alone and tenaciously represented her entire math team in every round; including the Group Ciphering round. And, although she didn’t win an award, she was lauded for her courageousness in the face of adversity. Salena’s family came out in large numbers to support her. “We are just so very proud of her for being here,” stated Nikkiesha Freeman, Salena’s mom. “We always try to support her in any competition that she enters, and I’m proud that she endured this challenge on her own–she’s a strong, smart girl.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Principal, Paul W. Brown and his team graciously hosted the middle schools math tournament. When asked about the importance of math in schools, Principal Brown stated, “The power of mathematics provides an equal opportunity for teamwork, partnership and collaboration with unlimited potential for student achievement.”
APS congratulates the outstanding middle school math teams that competed this year. Next year, APS hopes to see each of its middle schools participating in this awesome event.
Participating students by school:
Bunche MS: Amani Bedwa, Tyna Brown, Zaire Butler, Ja’selah Davis, Madison Durr, Jemaris McCleaney, Ashley Redhead, Shania Wade, Ronald White
Inman MS: Abdullah Albayati, William Barton, Amari Butler, Arianna Gooden, Declan McCarthy, Nathan Rachelwalski, Griffin Richie, Anne Robinson, Yaxuan Zhuo
King MS: Kaleb Bush, Nicholas Davenport, India Davis, Justin Head, Genesiss Hollins, Nyssa Omolara, Adarryl Ricketson, Mekhi Robinson, Logan Smith, Shacovia Stephens, Amya Tolbert, Jason Williams
Young MS: Salena Parker