Congratulations to the Mathleague State Qualifiers for, well, qualifying at the state competition! According to the Math League Home page, “Math contests give students an educationally enriching opportunity to participate in an academically-oriented activity and to gain recognition for mathematical achievement. Our main goal is educational: we promote enjoyment and study of mathematics by organizing contests for grades 4-12. Our contests help to enrich mathematics programs. Each contest covers topics appropriate to the contest grade level. Our well-written questions cover a variety of difficulty ranges and involve topics of interest to above-average students. The key is to encourage students to enjoy a challenge and to learn from it to find problem-solving discussions stimulating. This challenge is what prompts many youngsters to enjoy puzzle books! The enrichment we provide is a positive experience for students.” Today, we will be interviewing one of our knights that qualified for state, Kristin Myer.
Q: What made you interested in participating in Math League?
A: Math League was just one of the many competitions that Math Club participates in throughout the year. I think my interest in math competitions dates back to when I became involved in ACP’s Math Club in 7th grade ( I’m now a senior, so it’s been a while!). I enjoyed problem-solving and seeing how math could be applied to real life. Also, I’m interested in pursuing a career in STEM, so learning math concepts outside the classroom will help prepare me for this. Most world problems can’t be solved in ten minutes, so it’s good practice to persevere on challenging questions.
Q: Did you expect to qualify in the state competition?
A: It’s been a couple weeks since my last Math League competition, so I was a little surprised when I found out last week! I’ve been pretty busy with college planning, extracurriculars, and adopting a new pet fish, so I didn’t even hear I qualified for State until a few weeks after I competed.
Q: How did you hear about Math League, and would you encourage others to join as well?
A: On any given year, Math League is a series of competitions on school, local, state, and national levels. I have been competing in Math League since sophomore year when Mrs. Craft (our club sponsor) encouraged me to compete in a local-level competition. It ended up being a fun experience, and I even placed in the top ten in my level at State for both 10th and 11th grade. I would definitely encourage others to join Math Club and try competing in Math League! We welcome students of any skill level to stop by club meetings and start learning! One of my favorite aspects of Math Club is that we truly form a welcoming community where everyone has something they can learn from the others in the club. If you are interested in joining Math Club and competing in Math League, I would recommend talking to Mrs. Craft or your math teacher.
Q: How has COVID affected the way the competitions work?
A: The biggest difference with COVID is that the majority of our competitions have been online this year. Math League set up an entirely online platform for taking the test and inputting answers. To ensure competitor integrity, every Math League State competitor joins a Zoom call with cameras on throughout the whole test. Several of the other major competition coordinators also set up online systems, like AMC and ASMA. It’s a bit of an adjustment, but I’m glad we were able to keep these going given the unusual circumstances this year!
Q: The most important question of this interview: what is your favorite type of cake?
A: Birthday cake all the way!! It doesn’t even have to be anyone’s birthday.
Thank you, Kristin, for letting us interview you and remember to strive for the impossible and be extraordinary, Knights!