Not What to Think, but How to Think: CHS Math Team
The Columbus High School Math Team met this Thursday in preparation for the mail-in KSU mathematics competition. The competition will be proctored by Mrs. Storie Atkins, the organizer of the team, and only the best (5% or 10%) advance to the second round of the competition where they are given more difficult mathematical problems to solve.
Members of the team went over GAML problems where they are usually given 30 seconds to 3 minutes to solve each problem in preparation for a real competition style setting where participants aren’t given much time to solve problems correctly. The team has had an assiduous schedule so far, much to the delight of its members, advancing toward the AMC mathematics competition that takes place in November.
However, the team is primarily focused on advancing student ambitions in mathematics and strengthening their love for the subject.
Ray Toma, senior at CHS and longtime member of the Math Team stated, “Math Team isn’t about memorization at all. You actually need to apply the knowledge you learn to many different problems, almost like if you were solving a puzzle.”
Another member of the team, Aryan Patel, a senior, acknowledged, “I enjoy plenty of competitions, but I also just like the environment of intense learning and application.”
Mrs. Atkins affirmed, “I get students all of the time who do extremely well in their math classes, but that is simply not what Math Team is all about. You have to be quick and fast with problems and really use what you have learned to succeed.”
In addition, the team consists of members who just wish to further their abilities in mathematics. One member, a junior, stated that she has always loved math, and believed that the Math Team was a way to test her abilities, and allowed her to really connect with team members, creating strong friendships along the way.
When asked about her future plans for the team, Mrs. Atkins stated, “I just recently got my CDL license, and I hope to take the team around the state to different competitions-in the past we’ve usually only stayed in the Columbus area for competitions. I also really wish to eventually ‘pass the torch' to another teacher to lead and organize the Math Team, and pass on my knowledge.”