Math Team members advance to State

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After the Regional competition, two Math Team members look to place at State, meanwhile the rest of the team seeks to strengthen their standings by gathering new members.
Math Team competitions include competitions where students are allowed a calculator, individual events that test students on specific areas like Geometry, and team competitions of two and eight people.
“Individually, the team is strong,” said sponsor Alex DeGroh. “We won a third and fifth place individual score at Regionals, so both of those students will be going to State.”
Senior Dante Komator placed third in the Precalculus competition and Allyson Evangelista placed fifth in the Geometry competition at Regionals. Both will be proceeding to State. Despite the team’s success, they are still looking to grow in numbers to be more competitive.
“We have a small team this year, which makes it tough to be competitive,” DeGroh said. “Our main goal is to build our team for the future.”
Because DeGroh can not prepare students for every possible math problem they might encounter, he seeks to teach students broader skills that can help them in the array of situations they encounter inside and outside of competitions.
“Math Team teaches students to be independent learners,” DeGroh said. “I can’t help all of them with their competitions. They have to think outside the box and try to find solutions that they were not necessarily taught in math class.”
According to Senior Kai Loh, one of the most valuable things Math Team has taught him is how to efficiently collaborate and communicate with his teammates.
“It has taught me a lot about working with a team because of all the competitions that involve working together to solve problems quickly and accurately,” Loh said. “While there is an individual test, the team as a whole needs to do well for us to succeed. If the group members do not work together, it’s almost impossible to do well in competition.”
Math Team challenges it’s members to improve upon their strength and learn from their weaknesses.
“Everyone has things that they need to improve upon, and for me, it is reading directions,” said senior Isabella Latayan. “Sometimes I see numbers and go straight to computing them disregarding that the directions said to use a specific method to solve so that the answer is in a certain form. I found myself making this mistake quite frequently.”
Latayan stresses that Math Team is an accepting environment open to new members who share a similar interest.
“The environment is very relaxed. We are all there because we like math, so we can have debates about problems. We can talk about different types of math without people calling us nerds or teasing us,” Latayan said.
Math Team does not discriminate against the math level of new members, and Loh encourages students interested in math not to be intimidated.
“It doesn’t matter how good you are at math or what math class you’re in, Math Team welcomes all members and won’t discriminate against those who feel like they can’t be as successful as others,” Loh said. “If you’re intimidated and hesitant about joining, you should bring a friend or two with you. It’s a lot more fun when working together.”

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