Boyce team earns top score at county-wide math competition
A team of Boyce Middle School students placed first overall among a field of 111 teams at the Calcu-Solve competition on Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, at Duquesne University. Team members include Carter McClintock-Comeaux, Keshav Narasimhan, Alex Sun and Alex Todd.
Each four-person team was tasked with solving nine total questions – seven were to be completed individually and two were to be answered collaboratively. The highest possible score was 160. The Boyce team earned 112 – the highest team score of the day.
“I am thrilled with their problem solving prowess and the way they matched up against the best fifth and sixth grade mathematicians in the county, but even more so, I am thrilled with their cooperative spirit and their positive attitude,” Kathleen Hoedeman, math resource teacher and Boyce’s Calcu-Solve coach, said.
Earning a third place finish was the Boyce team of Phillip Markovitz, Quinton Miller, Evan Sarkett and Ben Wasson with an overall score of 98 points. Also representing Boyce Middle School was the team of Sahil Bhalodia, Leona Chen, Matthew Earley and Rebecca Lang.
Individually, Boyce’s Alex Todd had a perfect score of 35 and tied with one other student from another district for first place overall. Second place was a tie between two Boyce students, Evan Sarkett and Ben Wasson, and third place overall was Alex Sun, another Boyce student.
“For overall individual scores, four of the top five students – out of 444 competitors – were from Boyce!” Mrs. Hoedeman said. “And, the scores aren’t even the best part, the kids were amazing: patient, understanding, collaborative and supportive of each other.”
To earn one of Boyce Middle School’s 12 spots in the competition, nearly 60 interested students completed a 40-minute test composed of non-routine word problems. The top 12 scorers were placed on three teams. Throughout a three-week period, students practiced math problems at the start and end of the school day.
“Our students gave up their own time to work together to improve their problem solving skills,” Mrs. Hoedeman said. “Though not every person came to every practice, attendees were always enthusiastic and the dialogue always enlightening.”
The Calcu-Solve event, sponsored by the II-VI Foundation, is open to fifth and sixth graders throughout Allegheny County. The event was organized by the Allegheny Intermediate Unit.