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Five Discovery students rank in Top 25 of national math contest

The Discovery Middle School math team deduced, reduced and produced many problems in little time to have five students in the top 25 of the 2012 Ciphering Time Trials.

National Assessment & Testing, the event coordinator, contacted math team coach and teacher Julie Goldston with the results on Jan. 7.

“This test consisted of ten rounds,” Goldston said. “Each round required each individual student to solve three problems in three minutes. Therefore, the entire test had to be completed in just 30 minutes, divided into 10 three-minute rounds.”

Discovery had five students in the Top 25. Winston Van tied for 10th place. Other placeholders are Alan Grissom, 19th; Jasmine Atassi and Amelia Goldston, tie for 20th place; and Shantanu Kadam, 22nd place.

Van, Atassi and Goldston are eighth-graders. Grissom and Kadam are seventh-graders.

“In each round, the student could receive zero, three, seven or 10 points for answering zero, one, two, or three problems correctly,” Goldston said. “The same test is given to all students, so our middle school students are asked to solve the same questions that the high school students are solving.”

An example question in the 2012 Ciphering Time Trials follows: “When my secret number is reduced by 37 and this result is then tripled, the result is 87. What is my secret number?” Most questions involved complex algebraic equations.

In addition, Discovery entered the Vestavia Hills High School tournament in December. Discovery’s seventh-grade team earned second place. From individual competitors, Shantanu Kadam earned third place and Alan Grissom took eighth.

For seventh-grade mental math, Shantanu Kadam earned second place. Alan Grissom took third place, and Warren He ranked in 11th place.

The Discovery eighth-grade team captured second place. In eighth-grade individual testing, Joey Li was the first-place winner and Winston Van rated seventh place. In eighth-grade mental math, Li again won first place.

“I am so proud of all of our math team members,” Goldston said.

National Assessment & Testing is based in Seattle, Wash. For more information, visit natassessment.com.

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