Grade 9 students from Laurie Middle School have received some pretty prestigious hardware after taking the top provincial spot in a national mathematics ranking based on a volunteer exam result.
The National Mathematica Contest includes a exam that tests various mathematical disciplines, with Laurie Middle School taking highest provincial ranking for Grade 9.
“Basically it was kind of voluntary, but the teachers selected the students to write,” said Catherine Fillis, a math and science instructor with the school. “The students were allowed a calculator, not all tests are allowed calculators. It’s a national contest of 60,000 students right across Canada and there’s 45 questions and less for the younger grades.”
The group from Laurie that was honoured for their exam results, as well as the staff who teach the material, include Adrian Simons, Jensen Davis, Michael Schieman, Mrs. Nicole Fulton, Katie Dritsas, Ms. Catherine Fillis, and David Menning.
Out of the Laurie Middle School students who wrote the exams with top-notch results, Dritsas was singled out and received a medal for the highest grade in the province.
Fills said the exams were written earlier in April and administered to students nationally.
Taking their cue from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which declared that learning math through problem resolution activities is the most efficient way for a person to develop lasting mathematical skills, the contest hopes to challenge and promote problem-solving skills for students.
“It’s a challenge for the students because I don’t know if anyone in history has gotten a perfect grade,” said Fillis. “It’s nasty…it’s out-of-the-box thinking, it’s very word-problem math and spans all kinds of math concepts.”
Laurie Middle School took the top Grade 9 mathematics honours against other public schools, as well as private educational institutions across the province.