James Clemens Math Team places 15th in national contest

After an impressive tally in September, the James Clemens High School Math Team has earned another national honor.

James Clemens math students ranked in 15th place in the 2012 Team Scramble. National Assessment & Testing coordinates this national mathematics contest and released the good news on Dec. 5.

In earlier competition, James Clemens placed 21st in the country in the 2012 Fall Startup Event.

“Coach Shaun Bardell prepared students for the first major team competition of the academic year, on which students worked furiously as the team raced to answer 100 problems in various mathematical topics in just 30 minutes,” Tom Clymer said. Clymer works as director of academic competitions with National Assessment & Testing.

Bardell teaches algebra III, honors pre-calculus, calculus A and another honors pre-calculus class for the math team.

“With so many questions and so little time, competitors needed not only strong mathematical skills but also the ability to quickly decide which problems to solve and which to skip,” Clymer said. James Clemens students delegated test questions among themselves to maximize their score.

The Team Scramble’s large-team format allows inclusion of interesting but time-consuming problems that cannot appear on most other math competitions.

This year’s more complicated problems included one scenario involving height of a pile of beach balls. This logic problem had five, known suspects who each made exactly one true and one false statement. Also, the James Clemens students dealt with missing values of a data set with certain relationships among the mean, median and mode.

James Clemens also participated in National Assessment & Testing’s 2012 Ciphering Time Trials on Dec. 13 and will enter the 2013 Four-by-Four Competition on Jan. 31, 2013.

These contests have 10 rounds in which students have three minutes to answer problems; however, the first set requires students to work individually on three problems per round. In the second set, four-member teams will tackle four problems in each round.

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

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