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Math Championship tests skills and teamwork

By Amanda Bradshaw Sharpe
University Relations

MURFREESBORO – Thirteen schools from six school districts visited Chowan University for the second annual Math Championship on April 1.

Bertie, Gates, Northampton, Hertford, Roanoke Rapids, and Weldon school districts brought with them 145 students in grades 3 – 8 for a daylong competition, including group and individual contests. Each school selected the top six math students per grade level to partake in this friendly competition.

The individual grade level competition took place in the morning and team competitions occurred in the afternoon.

Myrna Goldberg, Elementary Instructional Coach for Northampton County Schools explained, “The afternoon competition was similar to an escape or breakout event where students solve problems and use the answers to get a code to open a lock.”

The team competition was between grade levels, each grade receiving a first and second place winner status.

The first team to open their lock was Belmont-Manning Elementary of Roanoke Rapids Graded School District’s 5th grade team, ultimately placing first for 5th grade. The students were extremely excited and shared that they had an “awesome” time. They were surprised that it was easier than they expected, and attributed their success to teamwork allowing them to use all of their strengths together. They believed they could not have done it without the entire team.

Willis Hare Elementary’s 4th grade team opened their lock second, ultimately placing first for 4th grade. They were excited, and seeing the first team advance provided additional motivation. The students shared, they put their heads together and figured out the answer. One student shared, “Teamwork makes the dream work, you know that theme? It’s true.” They also were grateful for their teachers, all of them, for teaching them how to do hard work and problem solve.

Conway Middle School placed first for 6th grade in the team competition.

Grace Smith, District Academically Intellectually Gifted Coordinator for Northampton County schools said, “This competition stemmed from our belief that competitions are very important in motivating students to strive to be their best and to challenge themselves. After having no success at finding local math competitions for our students, we decided to create a competition in our area. We wanted to capitalize on local resources available, such as Chowan University.”

Kitty Cochran, Conway Middle School Academically Intellectually Gifted teacher, and co-coordinator of the event, shared, “The first two years have been quite successful. We want to continue making this competition fun, but challenging at the same time.”

Smith also shared that she and the planning committee are incredibly grateful to all of the participants, parents, school staff, and of course the sponsors: Chowan University, Northampton County Schools, Nucor Corporation, Roanoke Electric, Walter’s Grill, and Maximus Alliance.

Upon completion of the competitions, awards were given to the top six students in each grade level and the top team in each grade level. Students left having learned much more than math skills, problem solving, and critical thinking. They learned that good teamwork is a valuable component to success within a group dynamic.

For more information about Chowan University, visit www.chowan.edu or call 1-888-4-CHOWAN.