By James Anderson
Mamaroneck High School’s Math Team is thriving with students eager to explore the art of problem-solving through competition.
The club has about 15 members, goes to six math meets annually. Teams from throughout Westchester attended the last meet, which was held in White Plains.
One Monday each month students gather in room A306 to do some practice problems and prepare. After school, a bus brings them to the competition.
Each test consists of three 10-minute sections with two problems each, for a total of six questions. After each section the correct answers are announced so that each competitor knows his or her score immediately and sometimes the harder problems are explained. The problems are very difficult, and students rarely get more than three correct. Top-scoring participants can qualify for the New York State Math League competition.
The Math Team meets might seem daunting, but in reality they are very relaxed. Students enjoy socializing on the bus and eating the snacks and pizza that are provided between the 10-minute sections. Kathryn O’Donoghue, a math teacher at MHS and the club adviser, added, “I think it’s a very relaxed, comfortable environment because everyone is just trying to do their best.” The whole event is about learning to be a better problem-solver while having fun.
“I think the students that join have a genuine interest in the subject,” O’Donoghue noted, “and are looking to explore math outside of the classroom and for a challenge.”