TAYLOR COUNTY—From simple addition and subtraction facts to complex quadratic equations, math is a very complex subject. For some it can be baffling, but for some, it is both fun and exciting.
Recently, 25 Taylor County students proved that math isn’t all bad, as they earned top spots in their grade levels during Taylor County’s annual Math Field Day.
Math Field Day competitions are established to promote increased student participation in classroom and extracurricular mathematics. One of the primary objectives is to demonstrate that mathematics can be an exciting and challenging subject to study.
The competition is designed to: stimulate greater interest for mathematics; recognize students who excel in mathematics; and to provide the opportunity for interaction of peers with common interests and or abilities.
“Our students’ participation in Math Field Day allows them to demonstrate the application of the concepts and skills learned in their classrooms,” said Superintendent Christy Miller. “It also promotes critical thinking and problem-solving skills they can apply across the academic disciplines.”
It also serves the purpose of discovering students with exceptional mathematical ability. The students are provided with the opportunity to participate in a challenging mathematics setting to give them the encouragement and recognition they deserve.
During Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting, the top scoring students received just that.
“First I wanted to thank all the students and teachers as well as all the parents that are in attendance tonight,” said Nat Clemm, Math Field Day Coordinator. “You guys have made a profound effect on the students’ development.”
This year’s Math Field day was held on January 11 and students from fourth through eighth grades competed in the annual competition.
“Our first, second and third place winners will advance on to the regional math field day event, which will be held at University High School in Morgantown, on March 7,” Clemm added. “They will also receive either trophies or medals and certificates tonight.”
Clemm shared that 199 students were invited to compete in this year’s Math Field Day event, and that 113 actually took part in the testing. There were 34 fourth graders, 32 fifth grade students, 21 sixth graders, 15 seventh grade students and 11 eighth grade competitors.
The students are selected based on their testing scores on standardized tests from the previous school year. Clemm shared that a teacher can also recommend students who they believe should participate.
“Taylor County is fortunate to have the students willing to participate in Math Field Day. This opportunity demonstrates the effective instruction taking place each day in our mathematics classrooms,” expressed Miller. “The West Virginia Department of Education has supported improvements in instruction through the Math4 Life Campaign. Our students competing at regionals will be an additional opportunity to show the outcomes of this ongoing effort.”
During the meeting, Clemm introduced each grade level’s winners to the Taylor County Board of Education members and Superintendent Christy Miller.
In fourth grade, Anna Jarvis Elementary School student John Logan Jones was named as the second alternate, and Samuel Knotts was deemed first alternate, again representing AJ.
Anna Jarvis’s Wyatt Weaver took home the third-place award, while Flemington Elementary School’s Bryson Snider earned the second-place spot. Topping the list in first place for fourth grade was Jackson Hildreth, who also attends Anna Jarvis.
Fifth Grade winders include Nicolai Maxon in first, Genevieve White in second place and Beckett Stallings brought home third. Jayda Rose was named at first alternate for fifth grade, and Skye Gerkin earned the second alternate position.
Sixth Grader Reilee McGuffy took home the top spot, followed by Oliver Barker in second place and Ian Phillips in third. Additionally, Madalyn Haddix earned the first alternate position, while Sophia Austin claimed the second alternate spot.
In seventh grade, Sydney Chen earned first place, Ethan Weaver claimed second and Kelly Boylard came in third. In the event someone can’t compete, MJ Niggemyer will serve as first alternate and Jack Ferris will serve as the second alternate.
Finally, eighth graders Justin Gainer was named first-place winner, Cole Lambert was second and Landen Hulley earned a third-place finish. First alternate is Nathan Castle and the second alternate is Lilie Singleton.
“I am super proud of all of these students, and I am excited that our first, second and third place winners will get to participate in the Regional Math Field Day,” expressed Clemm.