by Justin H '17

Mr. Mehan’s Math Meets

Mr. Mehan runs a middle school math club for interested 7th and 8th graders.  The club participated in multiple math competitions, and, as a whole, it performs well. The club meets on Friday afternoons, from 2:20 to 3:00, though it sometimes runs later than that.

There are two basic types of meets: official ones and unofficial ones.  Official meets can involve one of three competitions.  The first competition is the American Mathematics Competition for 8th grade (AMC 8).  That competition involves very difficult multiple-choice questions.  Students can take participate again in high school as Jim Napolitano gives students the AMC 12.  The second competition the middle school math club does is the Math League.  That one has 35 difficult multiple-choice questions.  No student that participated got more than 29 correct.  The third and most common type of official meet is the Math Olympiads.  This includes 25 open-ended questions completed over 5 sessions with 5 questions per session, to be completed without a calculator.  The unofficial meets are for MathCounts, which is a program that lets students develop their math skills while working together.

The math club this year is much larger than it was last year.  Last year, the club was created for one competition over about two weeks in March and consisted of two 7th graders and three 8th graders. In contrast, this year’s meets have started in December.  This year, there have been 20 people at the average official meet and 10 to 15 people at the average unofficial meet. Hopefully, the middle school math club will still be around and going strong next year with a new group of 7th graders.

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