Math and Science Clubs implement successful contests

February 9, 2018 — by Jeffrey Xu and Michael Zhang

On Jan. 31, students lined up after fifth period outside of AP Physics teacher Kirk Davis’s classroom to take the annual F=ma exam.


On Jan. 31, students lined up after fifth period outside of AP Physics teacher Kirk Davis’s classroom to take the annual F=ma exam.

The event was hosted by Science Club and Davis, and according to Science Club vice president junior Jamie Hong, who helped plan the event, around 30 to 40 students showed up, which was more than the 20 students from last year.

Hong said this uptick is the result of an increasing interest in physics among underclassmen, many of whom have studied the subject on their own.

In planning the event, according to Hong, Science Club created a Google form that would allow students to sign up for the contest, providing a ballpark number of kids interested in participating in the contest. Science Club charged $10 for students who paid on time and $20 for those who paid late. The actual exam fee was $8.

“This allowed Mr. Davis to order enough tests from AAPT [American Association of Physics Teachers] without losing money,” Hong said. “Although it was an accident that we charged $10 instead of $8, it worked out in the end.”

Seventy-four students also registered to take the American Mathematics Competition (AMC) 10/12 on Feb. 7 and 15. The AMC, a contest that could eventually give some students the chance to qualify for the USA Mathematics Olympiad, a prestigious contest given only to the top 250 students in the nation, is available for all students to register.

The 75-minute AMC contests consist of 25 multiple-choice questions consisting of topics such as number theory, geometry, algebra and combinatorics.

The school’s Math Club adviser, math teacher Andrew Shoemaker, hosted the competition in the library during second period on both testing dates.

According to Math Club president senior Rahul Kumar, approximately the same number of students registered for the contests as last year.

“I think registration for AMC this year has been similar to past years,” he said. “But we don’t actually know how many people showed up because we didn’t take attendance.”

The Math Club also charges a $10 registration fee for the contests, since it costs money for the school to order them from the Mathematical Association of America (MAA), the organization that runs these contests.

In order to qualify for the American Invitational Mathematics Competition (AIME), or the next level of exams after AMC, students taking AMC 10 must score in the top 2.5 percent nationwide and those taking AMC 12 must score in the top 5 percent.

Traditionally, the school, which had 33 AIME qualifiers last year, has performed well in these types of competitions. “Overall, I think the contest was a successful one,” Kumar said. “Especially with our new adviser Mr. Shoemaker, things ran a lot more smoothly than last year.”


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