For many students, Saturday mornings are never seen due to a late Friday night. So, any time that students commit to an extremely early Saturday morning activity is noteworthy.
On Nov. 21, seven upper school students and their parents from Effingham Christian School arrived on the school campus at 7:20 a.m. With calculators in hand, each student was ready to embark on the school’s inaugural participation in the 2009 Middle School Math Bowl held at Armstrong Atlantic State University.
Battling against seven area schools, each presenting one or more teams, these students created memories, exposed themselves to public scrutiny, and ground their mathematical gears to dust, all while many area adults were enjoying their second cup of coffee at home and reading the Sports section.
After four intense rounds of head-to-head competition and an individually scored 25-question multiple choice exam (to be completed in only 30 minutes), those seven students from Effingham Christian School finished an overall fifth out of seven schools (sharing a difference of a few points between the fifth and fourth place team).
These early-risers faced questions such as, “Tex extended the fencing of one of his paddocks. He enlarged the rectangular enclosure from 100’ x 120’ to 120’ x 150’. By what percent did he increase the area of the enclosure?” These motivated math giants had just over one minute to answer this question, “Jamal is 5 feet tall. At a certain time of the day, his shadow is 3.2 feet long. At the same time, the school flagpole casts a shadow 16 feet long. How tall is the flagpole?”
The competition, its sharp competitors, and the volunteers who pioneered and continue to steer its course are examples of the commitment to mathematics education in the area. They are examples of motivated families who see the life-long benefit of rigorous training and exercise.
ECS’ Math Bowl Team trains daily with their peers at Effingham County’s only private school, which is at 225 Goshen Rd.