Middle school math buffs must register for Hickman contest by Wednesday

Monday, October 6, 2008 | 5:47 p.m. CDT; updated 10:38 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 16, 2008

COLUMBIA — Hickman High School will host the second annual Kewpie Math Classic for sixth through eighth grades on Nov. 15. Registration for the math event is due by Wednesday.

Mu Alpha Theta, a math honor society at Hickman, created the event to increase appreciation for and awareness of math by reaching middle school students. Last year about 70 students participated in the event.

"The students enjoyed it last year," Deanna Wasman, Mu Alpha Theta sponsor, said. "Several sent us letters and e-mails afterwards."

The event was created to attract more students to participate in math competitions.

"There is a lot of interest (in Mu Alpha Theta) for younger students to participate in fun and lower-stake competitions," Jessica Hwang, a senior Mu Alpha Theta member, said.

The Kewpie Math Classic is a 25-question test; calculators are not allowed. The questions used on the test are created by Mu Alpha Theta students, and the same test is given to all three grade levels. The students create questions similar to those used in American Mathematics Competitions and MATHCOUNTS competitions and vary based on subject area and difficulty level.

While the tests are being graded, students participate in other math-related activities including Sudoku, pi recitation, math jeopardy and other math games and puzzles. Trophies are awarded for the top three scores on the test in each grade level and to the winner of each math activity. Last year the winner of the pi recitation contest recited more than 100 digits, Hwang said.

"It was really fun because the kids were all really enthusiastic," Hwang said. "It was exciting to see all the high scores and see them participate in the activities. They were so excited at the awards ceremony."

For more information, go to the Missourian's education blog,


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