Need Something to Do Next Year? Join the Math Team!
Giovan Soares, Veritas Staff
Although many of you may not have known, earlier this year there were four monthly competitions, held on the first Thursday of every month from November to February between Rockland High School and many other towns on the South Shore. These were the Division five Math Team meets. On these four occasions the RHS Math Team faced off against Hanover, Bridgewater-Raynham, East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Abington, and Whitman-Hanson.
At a math meet each school is broken up into two teams with five members on each team. Then each team from each school competes in each of the five rounds with three students each; each student may compete in no more than three of these individual rounds. Then upon the completion of these five rounds there is a short break before a team round where all five members of each team work together.
Each round, including the team round, has three questions and students have 10 minutes to answer those questions. The first question is worth one point, the second is worth two points and the third is worth three points.
This year the highest that the RHS Math Team placed was fourth in the final meet. At this meet RHS had three members competing on each team which was two less than each of the other schools had per team, yet the RHS Math Team was still able to beat the teams from East Bridgewater, West Bridgewater and Abington.
However, at earlier meets the RHS Math Team was less fortunate, placing seventh in the first two meets of the year and they were unable to attend the third meet. A significant cause for their low placing, and lack of placement, was a lack of students who were able to compete. Throughout its season the RHS Math Team struggled to fill its teams. Another problem is that the teams may not have more than two seniors each. This is the reason that in their second meet, even though there were six members willing and able to compete, only five of them could as five of them were seniors. There is a strong chance that the RHS Math Team will struggle with numbers again next year which would undoubtedly be a tragedy.
When asked for comment the current Math Team advisor Mrs. Mulready said, “I was disappointed this year that we didn’t have many kids, so next year I’m hoping to recruit more… This year really killed us.”
It’s important to note that the team is first and foremost about the fun and enjoyment of all its members. While there is certainly an air of competitiveness between the schools and among the members of the team, that is always put aside to make sure that each person has as much fun as possible. For example, not every student is a big fan of geometry. Luckily, each of the five rounds is about a different subject, round one is arithmetic, round two is algebra one, round three is geometry, round four is algebra two, and round five is advanced math or calculus and trigonometry for the most part. So, even for those among us who are not mathematics fanatics, there is likely at least one round in which you would enjoy competing.
Math team is also a great place to meet new people with whom you share something in common. When asked about the math team, senior John Ellard said, “Math team is great. It’s a cool place to talk about math and it’s nice to meet other students from other towns who have a similar interest.”And for those who are not interested in competing, there are special positions for alternates, who may compete in every round, however, their scores are not counted with either team. The RHS Math Team offers many options for students who are interested in giving it a try and will welcome any comer with open arms.
Math team is a fun activity for all students who are involved and it would be a great shame to see it go away. Any students who are interested in joining the team are encouraged to speak to the current advisor Mrs. Mulready about joining next year. As senior Katie Houde said, “Math team is fun and a great thing to do on a Thursday, and you get pizza.”
I joined the math team myself in my sophomore year. I attempted to join in my freshman year, but I could not figure out when the meetings were and so I was unable to. Throughout my 3 years as a member of the Math Team I have had a great time. Every meet brings a new opportunity to try my hand and each time I score a new personal record for points in a meet I’m excited. I’m really happy that I joined the math team and it gave me an opportunity to make new friends and acquaintances in both my school and others.
For those of you who may be on the fence, Mrs. Mulready had a piece of advice, “[At math team meets] everyone has a good time and we get to eat pizza!”
So, even if you don’t love math, you still have a reason to take part in the team. In all seriousness, Math Team is an amazing club filled with amazing people and each of the four meets are a blast whether you come in first or last.
Good luck to the RHS Math Team next year.