Students show off math skills at annual tournament in Columbus

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WCBI) – High school students put their math skills to the test for the annual Mu Alpha Theta Mathematics Tournament hosted by the Mississippi School for Mathematics and Science.

15 schools from across the state came to compete in different areas of math, for fun.

Adding, multiplying, and dividing advanced equations is how dozens of students spent their day.

The one common denominator: they all enjoy math.

“They come and take math tests anywhere from Algebra 1 to calculus. We have some team competitions and it’s basically a day to celebrate math,” said Shae Koenigberger, MSMS math teacher.

Iris Xue was a competitor for the competition and she now serves as a co-chair brainstorming the equations.

“I competed in this tournament sophomore year. And this is the first time I ever heard of competitive math. And that day was just so fun for me because I got to bond with people at my school in a way I had never had before,” said Xue.

“What makes this competition so unique is our students at MSMS serve as leaders for this test. They are the ones that write the test; they are the ones that grade the test. They serve during this competition and students from other states that compete in this just have fun practicing math,” said Koenigberger.

The high school students went pencil to pencil in three different rounds of problem-solving. One of them being a team ciphering competition.

Students with the highest marks get a trophy prize, but solving the strategies isn’t the only factor for this equation.

“Standing from this position being able to inform others about the opportunities that MSMS offers not only to explore mathematics but give mathematics to other people that’s really empowering and from this perspective I see. All of these students from across Mississippi experiencing something unique and I hope that they can continue pursuing that here at our awesome school,” said Koenigberger.

For some students, this served as a practice for the state-wide Mu Alpha Theta math competition.

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