Numbers were the name of the game recently as Episcopal played host to the Mu Alpha Theta Math Tournament. This year’s tournament was double the size of last year’s with 346 students from 24 schools represented. To grow in size so quickly is a true compliment to the Episcopal Mathletes who organized and planned the entire event.
A math tournament has a game day feel. There is suspense, excitement and enthusiasm as students take individual and team tests in algebra one and two, geometry, precalculus and calculus. Students huddle together in team challenges to work toward the answers with a sense of focus and concentration. Individuals pour over test questions with determination. At the end of the day, trophies are awarded to the top students in each category and everyone celebrates a common love of math.
It is this love of math that equates to unlikely friendships and connections, creating a community for these students. Upper School math teacher Hester Sofranko says one of the best components of being a Mathlete is the camaraderie among teammates and competitors. She says students who wouldn’t normally interact, become close while solving problems together. As is often the case, common ground is found through a shared passion.
“This is a chance to come into their own,” said Sofranko. “Students are able to recognize their own potential.” The Episcopal Mathletes truly lived up to their potential with the recent tournament. The group organized the entire event doing everything from writing the tests to choosing the trophies. Sofranko says the only thing they didn’t do was calculate the competition results. For the second year in a row the event was such a success that the Mathletes were able to donate $500 from the proceeds to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank.
While the Upper School students were busy making sure such a huge tournament functioned smoothly, the Middle School students were representing Episcopal competitively, with tremendous results.
The results are in!
Membership in Mu Alpha Theta creates a sense of pride for the Mathletes as it is a Mathematics Honor Society requiring students to maintain a 3.0 GPA. In addition, Episcopal Mathletes compete nationally in the American Math Competition with the hopes of qualifying for international level tournaments in the future. All of this can translate into college scholarships and admissions.
It’s a great feeling when you can find your community and celebrate your talents at the same time. For the Mathletes, this happens because of their command of calculations. They truly are a community uKnighted.