Mighty middle school mathematicians | SteamboatToday.com

Mighty middle school mathematicians

Twenty-two Steamboat students score well in international competition

Melinda Mawdsley

Nearly two dozen Steamboat Springs Middle School students were recognized for their achievement on an international math test.

— Will Horner stood in disbelief.

When Steamboat Springs Middle School and High School gifted and talented teacher Lisa Ruff read out the school’s top finishers in the American Math-ematics Competition, Horner’s name was atop the list.

Horner not only was the top scorer at the middle school, he was named an AMC 8 National Honor Roll member, meaning he finished in the top 5 percent of all AMC 8 test takers.

Nearly 180,000 students from 2,000 schools around the world took the 40-minute, 25-question test.

“This is weird,” Horner said, holding up his arms. “I misunderstood and thought we had two periods to do the test, so I only answered half the questions. I made educated guesses on the rest.”

The AMC 8 test was administered to more than 100 eighth-graders in the middle school’s Al-Geo class, which is a mix of algebra and geometry. Seventh-grader Noah Glaisher also scored well on the test.

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Twenty-two of the middle school students received a Gold, Silver or Bronze award based on their national ranking when compared to other students who took the test.

Rachel Dobell said the students didn’t prepare and were given one-day notice that they would be taking the test. The students said that of the questions they remembered, most were geometry specific.

“Most of it was easy, but there were some that were tough,” said eighth-grader Arik Funke, who placed second among Steamboat middle school students.

Will, Arik, Michael Savory, who placed third, and Keegan Rogan each were given the Gold Award for their distinguished performances.

Several students said math was a favorite subject, but many were surprised they were standing among the top math performers in the eighth grade.

Don’t be fooled by their modesty, said Ruff, who works with nearly half of the top math students in the gifted and talented program.

“They are incredible kids,” she said. “They excel in school.”

The following eighth-graders were recognized last week for their top AMC 8 scores: Gold Award – Will, Arik, Michael, Keegan; Silver Award – Kayleigh Esswein, Claire Parsons, Connor Hagerty, Erik Owen, Shealynne Yeager, Noah, Evan DePuy, Connor Landusky; Bronze Award – Christopher Holmquist, Kaitlin Breisch, Rachel, Jessica Dunlop, Justine Henderson, Jeffrey Gay, Kaitlin Hitchcock, Linnea Dixson, Michaela Frias and Kate Rusk.

Teachers Ben Barbier, Val Gary, Lisa Lorenz and Jeff Keller offered the AMC 8 test. The test is used to promote excitement and positive attitudes toward mathematics and to stimulate interest in the continuing study of mathematics beyond the graduation-required minimum.

“Developmentally, middle school students are at a point where attitudes toward school and learning, and perceptions of themselves as learners of mathematics, are solidified,” Ruff said.

– To reach Melinda Mawdsley call 871-4208 or e-mail mmawdsley@steamboatpilot.com