Valley's young mathematicians shine at festival
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Matt Lucio, 14, and Francisco Beltran, 15, of Calexico work together to solve a math problem during the Imperial County Mathematics Festival at Imperial Valley College in Imperial on Tuesday morning. (STEVEN ESPERANZA PHOTO / May 15, 2013)
The festival featured a number of different teams representing various schools in the area.
A few weeks prior to the festival, the different math teams completed math problems at their own school site, which were then graded by the Imperial County Office of Education.
The top-scoring teams were announced at the festival to much applause and cheering.
“I was very surprised when we won,” said Sophia Alvarez, a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Enrique Camarena Junior High. “It was really exciting and surprising.”
Sophia’s math teacher, Mariela De La Fuente, said she was very happy with her students’ first-place finish.
“I was so nervous and shaky,” said De La Fuente with a smile. “I just couldn’t believe it.”
Maharsh Patel said although his team didn’t come in first place he was happy they got second.
“I like math,” Maharsh, a 13-year-old seventh-grader at Frank Wright Middle School, said. “It’s sort of easy for me and I know how to do it in my head.”
Following the awards ceremony, the students had the opportunity to engage in different hands-on gaming and logic activities and learn geometry and algebra concepts.
“I liked playing all the games and learning new things,” said Ashley Castro, a 12-year-old seventh-grader at Seeley Union School. “I learned about polynomials, and playing Sudoku was fun.”
Carmen Gutierrez said in addition to solving challenges she enjoyed playing games on the iPad and computers.
“I like math because it’s unviversal,” Carmen, a 12-year-old seventh-grader at William Moreno Junior high said. “There is not just one way to solve a problem.”
Organized by ICOE and the Imperial County Math Council, the festival challenged students under the soon-to-be-implemented common core standards, said Walter Lewis, mathematics curriculum coordinator at ICOE.
“Students will be expected to have a conceptual understanding of the work they did,” Lewis said. “The activities are hands-on in order for students to have a deeper understanding of mathematics.”
Staff Writer Karina Lopez can be reached at 760-337-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Imperial County Mathematics Competition
First place Corfman School and Meadows Union School
Second place Frank Wright Middle School
Third place Enrique Camarena Jr. High and St. Mary’s School
First place Corfman School and Enrique Camarena Jr. High
Second place Seeley Union School
Third place St. Mary’s School and William Moreno Jr. High