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Cape school hosts math competitions for students

By Staff | Jan 27, 2009

Diplomat Middle School was the site of the Middle School Math Competition in Lee County on Jan. 10, organized by the Lee County School District and the Lee County Math Council.
The event featured hundreds of students from 15 schools across the county who faced off with math problems of increasing difficulty.
The competition was split into three rounds. First, students competed as a team with their fellow classmates for 30 minutes, then each student took individual assessments for one hour. Finally, teams participated in a “Lightning Round.”
“We like to give students an opportunity to meet in a non-threatening way and do some math and enjoy a positive experience with it,” said Sharon Vandeventer, with the district’s Curriculum and Staff Development Department.
Besides the Jan. 10 competition, many of the same students will compete at another competition at Diplomat Middle on April 25.
At the end of February, Florida Gulf Coast University will host a national math competition called MATHCOUNTS.
According to Vandeventer, each competition draws in about 120 students.
Many parents also attend the “Lightning Round” to see their children race against their competitors in solving complex math problems. In the round each team member faces off and is judged on speed and accuracy.
“The first two rounds are pretty much not a thing parents would be excited to watch, but the third round is the lightning round, they like to stop in and see that and our awards ceremony,” said Vandeventer.
Students from the recent competition at Diplomat Middle are currently preparing for the other math competitions this year.
“We have a good number of students who participate in both during the year, our teachers act as a math coach and they work with students after school and encourage them to work ahead,” she said. “They bring those teams to competition.”
Dunbar Middle was awarded first place for the Overall Team Competition, Caloosa Middle earned second place and Gulf Middle came in third.
Individual awards were presented to the best students in each grade.
Sixth-grade winners included David Adkins from Trafalgar, Rendy Fernandez from Caloosa Middle and Maxwell Barch from North Fort Myers Academy.
Seventh-grade winners included Andrew Davis from Gulf Middle, John O’Donnell from Oasis Charter and Janne Kahr from Cypress Lake.
Eighth-grade winners included Nishani Karunamuni from Dunbar Middle, Alex Garcia from Dunbar Middle and Kaitlyn Barne from Caloosa Middle.