Students put their skills to the test at Math Field Day

McKenna Johnson, Staff Writer – April 8 at 10:30 a.m., Lecanto High School [LHS] students competed in Math Field Day, where schools in Citrus County meet to decide a mathematical champion.

Participants received ribbons and t-shirts for scoring high numbers of correct answers in comparison with other schools. Students collaborated within their group of four to find the correct answer for  each question. They had to answer the question correctly or continue trying until there was no longer the opportunity to win points. When either one of these situations occurred, the students would send their designated “runner” to grab the next question so they could begin working.

Competition teams were chosen by teachers involved in the event, basing their decisions on academic skill and quickness.

“I chose them. I look at the highest test averages and I ask the top four students,” said math teacher Bob Jackson.

Students gather for the 2017 Math Field Day competition to see which schools have the most mathematically talented students (Photo: Johnson).

Students gather for the 2017 Math Field Day competition to see which schools have the most mathematically talented students (Photo: Gangler).

One of his top four students for the algebra-two team was freshman Riona Westphal.

“My team got first [in our division], and I think we were able to because our team had people with different strengths,” said Westphal.

Westphal was not the only freshman to place first at this year’s event. Citrus High School [CHS] freshman Diana Ward and her team got first place in the pre-calculus division.

“I believe my team achieved this by working together and by our ability to understand the math we love,” said Ward.

Students and teachers are already making preparations for next year’s teams.

“We just prepared by doing calculus questions throughout class and just getting to experience different types of problems,” said LHS senior Greg Buettner.

Math teacher Jacqueline Benoist already has improvements in mind.

“I probably should have mixed the teams up more. My seniors hadn’t been focusing on calculus as much, so if I had done a mixture of sophomores, juniors, and seniors, I think we would have done better,” said Benoist.