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Math contest underway

The 16th annual community-wide Mathmindedness contest is underway.

“Right now I am in the process of mailing out the entry forms to the various schools,” said David Williams, professional math tutor.

Williams said he holds the contest each year because he wants to make students understand that math can be useful and fun “and not just something you do in a classroom each day and then set aside.

“The contest challenges students to look at math in a different light. An example of a question might be to cite an example in which mathematicians helped win W-W-II,” Williams added.

The contest is for all students of high school age and under.

The entry form consists of 15 to 20 questions and must be returned to Williams by Friday, March 14.

Students may use calculators, math books and reference materials to answer the questions, but their answers must be their own.

Up to three points are aw-arded for each correctly answered question depending upon its complexity

“Once I total all the points we will coordinate our schedule with [City of Knoxville] Mayor [Bill] Haslam and schedule the awards ceremony,” Williams said.

“One of the questions we have every year has the students think of a math-related gift they can give to the Mayor.

“Last year one kid made a calculator cake with all the buttons and one year we had an actual table with multiplication facts on it, so when he called it a multiplication table, he was right,” he added.

Haslam will award the winning students with several math-related prizes at the ceremony, but the fun won’t be over yet.

“After we hand out the prizes we have an extra round of competition. We call it the ELECTRIC MUSTARD round.

“It stands for Every Learner Everywhere should Count The Reasons Important to Calculat-ing problems. It Makes U Stop and Think about Arithmetic Drills,” Williams said.

During this round Williams gives each students a “goody bag filled with unusual objects,” which they must use to illustrate a math problem to the audience.

“We have been fortunate to have a good meeting area at the City County Building where parents and guests can come in and vote for the one they like best,” he said.

In addition to math-related prizes such as puzzles and games, students will be given the opportunity to participate in a television commercial.

“We make a 30-second commercial involving the students and showing what they are doing.

“It will run several times during the month of May and will build into mext year’s contest.

“It gives recognition to the students and we mention the school with the most finalists.

“It is something really hands-on that they may not see in a classroom,” he added.

Students may request an entry form from their math teacher, or send a self-addressed stamped business envelop to David Williams 505 Hollywood Dr., Knoxville, TN. 37919.

Finalists will be contacted either personally by telephone or through their school’s math department.


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