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Spring-Ford's math whizzes make their mark

Math students in grades 5-7 excelled at both the county and state level in Math League competition.

It's all adding up for some Spring-Ford students. After months of testing their math knowledge with practice quizzes, sixth-grade and seventh-grade student teams have placed tops in Montgomery County and the state as part of the Pennsylvania Math League competition.

The sixth-grade team from the 5th and 6th Grade Center placed sixth out of 137 schools competing statewide and first in Montgomery County. The seventh-grade team from the 7th Grade Center placed 12th out of 118 schools competing in the state of Pennsylvania and finished third in Montgomery County.

Over 1 million students from the U.S. and Canada participate annually in Math League contests, which test students at the elementary, middle and high school levels on a range of mathematical knowledge. Spring-Ford's gifted students from sixth-grade teacher Barb Crist's and seventh-grade teacher Deanne Snelling's classes participated in this year's February competition. They began preparing for it at the beginning of the school year by holding practice sessions and using materials from the previous year's contests. The practice helped students review vocabulary, tackle new concepts, and learn some tricks to attack 35 problems in just 30 minutes.

In late February, students in each grade took the contest test.  The top five scores from each grade are added together to make a team score, which is then compared by the Math League with other scores in the county and across the state.  The sixth-grade team's combined score was 139, just a few points below the winning score of 155. Several sixth-graders were recognized as being top students in the state: Andrew Trobman, who tied for 12th with a score of 30, and Melissa Mathias who tied for 17th with a score of 29.  Other students whose scores were entered into the contest included Alexander Stroukoff, with a score of 27, and Anthony Dabbundo, with a score of a 27. The fifth and final top score added to the sixth-grade team's total was 26 and four students achieved that score: Alex Powers, Peter Quain, Chad Smiley and Jake Zoller. Even though only one score of 26 was added, these students are still considered among the top scorers for the school.

At the county level, both Andrew and Melissa were among the highest scoring students. Andrew came in second and Melissa tied for third place.

"It is a very challenging contest. Some of the students enjoy the test. I am amazed at some of the questions.  After the contest, the students really want to know the reasoning behind the answers - that's what teaching is all about!" said Mrs. Crist.

Seventh-graders had a combined team score of 136.  The winning score was 160.   Students whose scores were entered into the contest included Dan Callos, with a score of 28 (Dan tied for third in the county); Joshua Carson, with a score of 28 (Joshua tied for third in the county); Eash Aggarwal, with a score of 27; Gabe Mascherino, with a score of 27; and Lily Baker, with a score of 26.

"I like the Math League contest because it takes all the math skills students have been learning since kindergarten and combines them into challenging word problems.  On one test you will have all four operations with whole numbers, decimals and fractions; plus square roots, exponents, percents, and beginning algebra and geometry concepts," said Mrs. Snelling. "It definitely presents a challenge. I take it along with the kids and still haven't gotten a perfect score yet!"

For more information about the Math League, visit www.themathleague.com.

Patch thanks the Spring-Ford Area School District for this press release.

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