Will Paustian, a Central Catholic junior, monitors visiting middle schoolers at math contest.
Earlier this month, more than 150 local grade school students as well as their parents and supporters, gathered at Central Catholic High School in Southeast Portland to compete in the 14th annual Math Fest. Seventh and eighth graders from 19 local schools were among the competitors this year.
Students competed in five different areas: Sudoku, Logic Problems, SAT Problems, Boxes and Locks, and Guess My Rule. In the Boxes and Locks competition, students solved math problems to obtain the combination of locks placed on various nested boxes. In Guess My Rule, students were given a series of inputs and outputs and were asked to find the rule or the mathematical equation that produces the numbers. Students also took part in a graphing calculator presentation.
In addition to the group problem-solving activities, the young mathematicians also took part in an individual multiple choice exam known as the "conTEST." At the eighth-grade level, the conTEST winner was Dean Santos from Madeleine, and at the seventh grade level, Bennet Berlin from St. Pius X and Claire Duda from St. Clare shared the top spot. Each conTEST winner was given a scholarship good for tuition credit at Central Catholic. Over the years, Math Fest has continued to grow in popularity. This year was no exception.
"This year's event was bigger and better than ever," says math teacher Paul Wallulis. "We had more kids and more schools participating this year than we ever have, and the awards were spread around to a number of schools."
Central Catholic offers math classes from basic algebra to advanced calculus. Honors courses are available in algebra, geometry/trigonometry, and precalculus, and students can earn AP credits in AP Calculus and AP Calculus II.