Bak students take home half of math competition awards at county level

Students from Bak Middle School of the Arts left the 56th Annual County Math Competition with half of the trophies on Feb. 6.

“This competition only happens once the school year. It’s not Mathcounts and it’s not Academic Games. It’s a one time thing for students who are strong in math,” Linda Riggs, math teacher, said.

The competition required students to take multiple math tests, which were split up into sections.

“I was the most nervous right before each section of each test,” Nicole Chien, eighth grade communications major, said. “When I was actually taking the test, my mind was focused on the problems before me.”

The winners were sorted into four categories: sixth grade, seventh grade, eighth grade, and overall winners.   “Say you’re in seventh grade and your name isn’t called in your grade level category,” Riggs said.  “That means you either won [in the overall category] first, second, third or you didn’t place at all. It’s a thrilling experience that kept competitors on the edge of their seats.”

Many students who competed were already a part of Mathcounts or Academic Games, which was where they practiced most for the competition.  Ashesh Amatya, eighth grade piano major, was a part of both Academic Games and Mathcounts, however he also practiced online to help him excel in competitions and the classroom.

“I used many resources on a website called Art of Problem Solving,” Amatya said. “There are a variety of math problems on the Art of Problem Solving site and I usually do about 20 of them a day so I can improve on certain sections of math.”

At the competition, the students were given words of encouragement from a past competitor and former math teacher.

“Mrs. Kinard shared her inspiring story about participating in this math tournament when she was in middle school. It inspired her to continue and be a leader in math education. I really liked how she shared a personal story and I hope some of my students who are competing feel the same way,” Riggs said.

Students left the math competition with high rankings.

“The last thing we did was take a group picture of all the Bak kids who competed. It really showed that Bak was one of the most dominant schools in that competition, since we took home more half of the trophies,” Amatya said. “This event has inspired me to continue improving in math and to continue to practice for other math competitions.”