Tupelo Hosts Math Competition

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TUPELO, Miss (WCBI)- Math students sharpened their competitive skills this weekend in Tupelo.

These kids are in a classroom. But they are not in class. Nearly 400 students from grades three through eight took part in the third annual Perennial Math Tournament at Milam Elementary School. Dr. Sylvia Dean is the owner and founder of Perennial Math.

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“Basically at our on-site tournaments the students take two tests. They were registered on teams of five members. So they have five people on their team. But they take an individual test first. And then they have a break, and then they go to work together on a team test,” said Dean.

Kim Brumley is the lead math teacher at Milam. She helped bring the event here.

“My co-coach and myself for our MathCounts team just run across this tournament online about four years ago in Columbus at the W., and we went, and we were excited about it, had such a good time the kids enjoyed it so much that we felt like this would be a good thing for Tupelo,” said Brumley.

And Dean says they don’t blow these students away with advanced calculus.

“Our tournaments go up through eighth grade. And those eight graders will see some stuff on there. We take it up too high. We only go probably through some geometry and maybe a little bit of Trig, sometimes. But mostly we keep it down about the ninth and tenth-grade level at the highest for the eighth-grader,” said Dean.

“Everything that they learn at the early age it just builds as they go. So what they learn in maybe third grade, they’re going to build on that in fourth grade and then build on that in fifth grade. So it’s a progression. And if they don’t get those early skills, then they have major gaps by the time they get to seventh and eighth grade.”

And Saturday’s participants understood how vital math would be in the future when they are grown up.

“I think doctors would have to use math in like if you give medicine to a patient, you’d have to know how many grams and stuff like that. I do,” said Ashley Kulovitz.

“The same thing that Ashley said, a lot of careers that you would choose to be your career would use math and to take tests to get into college you need math and be able to get there and get a job,” said Andrew Keen.

Keen hasn’t got a career picked out yet, but he knows it’s going to involve having a strong background in math.

The participants came from as far north as Selmer Tennessee and as far south as Biloxi.

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