Newsbreaker News: Pi x 2 – Math Club Faces Double Trouble

Pacific Grove High School’s Math Club faced not one, but two math challenges this past week.  The Mathletes competed in the annual American Mathematics Competition (AMC) 10/12 on Wednesday, February 7th. Additionally, the club began participating in a series of six American Scholastic Mathematics Association (ASMA) competition tests in October of this year, and they took part in February’s test on Thursday, February 8th.

Eight ambitious students gathered in Mrs. Richmond’s classroom after school on Wednesday for the AMC 10/12. The six freshmen and sophomores, Tyler Smithtro, Thomas Paff, Mitali Chowdhury, Noor Benny, Seth Knoop, and Caroline Coen, took the AMC 10, whereas the junior twins, Michelle and Elizabeth Lee, took the AMC 12. Mrs. Richmond, the Math Club Advisor, told the NewsBreaker that the test “was more difficult than I expected,” but she “was really impressed that everyone took the full seventy-five minutes to work on the test.” The Mathletes had one hour and fifteen minutes to complete twenty-five mind-boggling math problems that required them to think outside the box. Michelle Lee discussed her experience taking the AMC 12. “It was very different from a math test, the ones I take in my math classes, and initially I wanted to attempt at least half of the twenty-five problems. However, in the end I realized that I had only confidently answered nine of them…” Michelle Lee also explained that “a bunch of the questions were unconventional to standard math curriculum,” but she looked at the difficult test as a learning experience. Freshman Thomas Paff came to the highschool an experienced Mathlete. He took the AMC 8 multiple times with the Pacific Grove Middle School Math Club, and when asked how he felt about the AMC 10 in comparison to the AMC 8, he claimed he felt “pretty good,” although he agreed “it was way harder by far [than the AMC 8]. There was a lot more stuff that I didn’t know.”

Six hardcore Mathletes returned to Mrs. Richmond’s classroom the following day during lunch for yet another competition test. Tyler Smithtro, Thomas Paff, Seth Knoop, Caroline Coen, Michelle Lee, and Elizabeth Lee partook in the penultimate ASMA test, which consisted of seven math problems in thirty-five minutes. Questions ranged from word problems to algebra and from geometry to complex algebraic equations. The Math Club will gather again in March for the final ASMA test, and the Math Club’s final competition, Mathletics, will take place in May.

Additionally, Math Club will begin meeting on Fridays instead of Thursdays after the President’s Day Break. If challenging problems and math competitions appeal to you, feel free to join the Math Club during lunch in Room B-2! They would love to have you!

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