Timpview High School’s mathletes are celebrating after taking home their first national win in a March Madness-style competition.
The school placed first in the Division IIE of the 2019 American Mathematics Competitions/AcreteLabs Mathematics National Championship, held over several weeks throughout the fall, beating out a pool of private and math-centric magnet schools.
“We can stand up to anybody,” said Anne Crosland, a math teacher at Timpview High School. “We have as much talent and enthusiasm.”
The online, team-based competition includes 30-minute, eight-question tests that students take online weekly. The competition takes a team’s top scores, which means no student’s score hurts the team.
After two qualifying rounds, teams move on to direct elimination rounds that continue bracket style.
Crosland said that a lot of students won’t get a single of the eight questions correct.
“If they get two of the problems, it’s awesome,” Crosland said.
She said the school’s math competition teams and their wins have attracted more students to the subject.
“What happens over the years is there’s more enthusiasm and more kids are taking math classes,” she said.
In addition to a winning math team, the school is also the only Utah high school that Crosland knows of that offers linear algebra to its students.
The students took the test for their final round of competition earlier in the week than their competitor. From there, Crosland said they waited to hear by email that they’d won.
The team members see the competitions as different from their homework.
“It’s a lot more intriguing and fun,” said James Camacho, who along with his brothers, James and David Camacho, are some of the winning team’s high scorers.
The team came together weekly to compete, eat pizza and enjoy math.
“You can apply math in a lot of different ways,” David Camacho said.