Throughout the year, Leon County’s Mu Alpha Theta members tested their mathematical knowledge in preparation for the big competition.
And in July, their hard work paid off.
Chiles High School tied for third place in the days-long 46th Mu Alpha Theta National Convention held at Washington University, St. Louis. Lincoln High finished eighth overall and Rickards High won the Blue Ribbon Award, given to top-performing smaller schools.
Dozens of Tallahassee students also earned trophies in individual competition categories. Three were national champions.
Cynthia Wang, an incoming 11th-grader at Chiles, will head the school’s ΜΑΘ chapter next year. Being a part of the honor society allows her to help “build a community” and cultivate a love for math. At least 100,000 students from more than 2,200 schools in the U.S. and 20 foreign countries participate in ΜΑΘ.
Cynthia is a math whiz. She has competed in events since she was in the fourth grade and placed in seven categories at this year’s convention. When asked to pick her favorite subject, she first replied, “I love learning.”
“Math is something I find interesting,” she said. “The problem-solving aspect gives you a lot of tools, ways to think outside the box. You have to have creative solutions to questions.
“But,” she added, “I think the main thing we all get from the club is family.”
National Convention results
In the competition, students are tiered by the highest level of math they completed — Mu (calculus), Alpha (precalculus) and Theta (Algebra II and/or geometry).
The national ΜΑΘ convention consists of individual, topic and team pencil and paper tests. Some are multiple choice, others are open answer. Category tests include ciphering, speed math and mental math. The most coveted prize is an overall sweepstakes award, based on a tally of scores in all tests and competitions.
“I am so proud of all the hard work that Rickards students put into this competition, and also of all the Lincoln and Chiles students who placed,” said Jessica Pickett, a math teacher who sponsors the Rickards chapter. “They represented Leon County very well.”
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