On Monday, March 9, BSGE’s middle school math team tasted victory in the annual MoMathlon Tournament. The tournament, sponsored by the Museum of Mathematics, took place at Queens College on Kissena Boulevard. A total of 23 teams from different schools participated, comprised mostly of 7th and 8th graders. The schools included BSGE, 190 Russell Sage, 185 Edward Bleeker, and the Institute for Collaborative Education. The BSGE team, supervised by Mr. Mehan, had members who were chosen to compete based on the students’ achievements in the official Math Club meetings at BSGE. The meetings took place through the Math Olympiads, Rocket City Math League, New York State Math League, and the Mathematical Association of America. The cumulative achievements of the students in these meetings helped determine the team members who would participate in the tournament. “The kids were very excited about the opportunity. The smiles were on their faces at Queens College,” recalls Mr. Mehan.
The tournament was split up into sections of individual and group rounds. The individual round was done independently by every student from each team. Students participating in the individual round had to complete a list of 10 math questions within a limited amount of time. Math questions used in the tournament were challenging in a logical way, but simple enough to do quickly. Because no calculators were allowed to be used, students had to either use mental math or paper-pencil calculations. The scores of the number of questions the students answered correctly were then calculated and used to determine the winners of the individual round. 7th graders Siliang Lei, Rishi Bhatt, Rachael Cheung and Christy Guan earned the 1st place, 2nd place, 4th place and 5th place in the individual round, respectively. 8th grader Stacy Xue earned 2nd place in the 8th grade individual round, answering all 10 questions correctly. Besides the individual round, there were two group rounds: one round where school teams competed against each other, and another round where students from different teams were put together to form a mixed team. BSGE’s team, along with several other teams, was split into Team A and Team B in order to reduce the number of students per team. The BSGE A team successfully managed to beat last year’s champion, 185 Russell Sage Junior High School, and came in first place in the tournament, while the BSGE B team came in 4th. “It was a fun learning experience,” said Anne Zhang ’19, a BSGE student who attended the tournament. “It was pretty competitive, to be honest. The air was kind of tense, but in general, it was really comfortable.”
More students from different schools attended the MoMathlon this year than in previous years. BSGE first started attending the tournament in 2012, with a team of 5 students. This year’s team has increased in size, most likely due to the growing interest of students who want to participate in the tournament. The BSGE students this year have done a wonderful job at bringing victory to the school. “I was very proud of them,” said Mr. Mehan, “I was happy that they were excited about participating in general and showing their smiles. They were having fun doing math; things like this remind us that math can be exciting.”