Antilles School students gobbled up their competitors in the territorial Mathcounts competition “easy as pi” on Wednesday morning at the Good Hope Country Day School Pavilion.
The 28th annual Mathcounts contest allowed middle school students from seven territorial schools to compete for a spot on the Virgin Islands Mathcounts team.
“The students are competing to secure a spot on the team,” said Cheryl Willocks, the Department of Education’s Curriculum and Instruction director.
Willocks said the top four mathletes who dominates in the competition will represent the territory at the 2014 Raytheon Mathcounts National Championship in Florida.
The competition was divided in two segments, the team and individual rounds. Students at the Good Hope Country Day School and Antilles School battled for the title of best team. Students attending the John H. Woodson Junior High School, Church of God Holiness Academy, Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School also participated in the individual round.
The competition was broken into four rounds, with the rivalry beginning with the sprint round, which lasted 40 minutes and helped the kids get into the flow. This was followed by the target round: 24 minutes in which the use of a scientific calculator allowed them a little breath of relief. In the team round, GHCD and Antilles students competed in a 20-minute round in groups working together on mathematic questions.
The countdown round allowed the top eight individuals to compete in a somewhat heart-throbbing oral competition. The students were paired in twos without the use of a calculator. The students were asked to the hit the buzzer with the correct answer.
The top eight winners for the individual round were Manav Thadani, Mansi Totwani, Robert Hunter and Divyesh Gurmani from Antilles School; Skylar Anspacher from Montessori School Caroline Flavia from Good Hope Country Day School; Ali Boucenna from Church of God Holiness Academy; and Jamihl Levine of Elena Christian Junior School.
After figuring out the square root of numbers, completing questions about algebra, probability, geometry and marking constantly on scrap papers, students at the Antilles School on the St. Thomas-St. John district won the team round against Good Hope Country Day.
They also won the individual round gaining four spots on the V.I. Mathcounts team. The Antilles School team round includes Thadani, Totwani, Gurmani, Maggie James, Robert Hunter and Harshitha Naidu.
In the individual round, Totwani came in first place, Thadani in second, Gurmani in third and Hunter in fourth place.
Antilles Mathcounts coach Michele Humphries said the students worked hard and really geared up for the competition. Humphries said she has been practicing with the students for years and they look forward each year to compete.
“We trained at lunch,” Humphries said. “We practiced nine to four on Saturday in preparation for the competition.”
Totwani said she praised God for helping her execute the skills needed to compete in this year’s event. “The competition was very difficult,” Totwani said. “All of my hard work has paid off.”
She has been in the Mathcounts competition for three years and said she loves the fact that this will be her first time heading to nationals to participate amongst other mathletes.
Gurmani, a sixth-grader, said his goal is to excel in nationals. “I thought the problems would be like last year’s,” Gurmani said. “This year was challenging.”
Thadani, who said he was feeling under the weather and recovering from tonsillitis, pushed through his ailment and won his spot on the V.I. Mathcounts team. This will be his third time going to nationals.
“It was harder than I thought,” Thadani said about the competition.
The students will head to 2014 Raytheon Mathcounts National Championship in Orlando on May 9. According to the event organizers, Mathcounts is a program that strives on improving math skills amongst middle school students. Approximately 40,000 students representing more than 5,500 schools from all 50 states will compete in Florida.