Ward Melville Math Team Competes in Suffolk County Math Tournament


Elizabeth Wang, Staff Writer

On January 6, 2017, the Ward Melville Math Team competed in a math tournament at Suffolk Community College in Selden. At the tournament, the members took a series of tests and were given the opportunity to win individual awards and team awards. This tournament also provided the chance for Ward Melville High School to qualify among the other schools in Suffolk County.

The Suffolk County Math Tournament is an annual event hosted by the Suffolk County Math Teachers Association. This year was the tournament’s 24th year. Over eighty teams from over twenty-five schools competed in the event. Participants ranged from 8th graders to 12th graders.

Ward Melville Math Team members left for the competition at 9:20 am as opposed to 7:15 am due to a snow delay. Though they were nervous, the team members all looked forward to an exciting day of stimulating intellectual challenges. At the competition, each student took two individual tests and one team test. The questions ranged from simple, straightforward problems to advanced equations. Several of the questions were logic-based as well. Ward Melville had a total of three teams participating in the event. The morning delay caused the awards ceremony to be cancelled.

The unique format of the Suffolk County Math Competition allows for skills other than pure mathematical intellect to shine through. During the timed individual tests, the test-taker has to be self-reliant and relaxed. Due to the brief amount of time allotted, the student must be able to budget their time per question accordingly and be able to work effectively under pressure. The team tests require a very different set of skills. Math Team members must be able to cooperate to truly be successful; communication skills are paramount in this particular testing scenario. A popular strategy for Ward Melville Math Team members was to divide the questions among each other. After each person had completed their assigned questions, the members would trade questions to check each other’s work.

The Ward Melville Math Team has been preparing for this competition for months. The team convenes every Tuesday to practice their math skills. In a typical math team meeting, each member takes a 6-question-long timed test to simulate testing conditions in an actual competition. Afterward, the members work through the challenging problems together.

The results of the competition will be released in the upcoming week. Ward Melville has received high rankings in this competition in 2012, 2013, 2014. Will Ward Melville restart the winning streak this year?