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ORAU sponsors Tennessee Middle School Math Competition

May 12, 2011

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—More than 600 students from 24 area schools recently competed for the honor of being named the top middle school math students in East Tennessee.

The 2011 Tennessee Middle School Math Competition, now in its 11th year, was held May 6 at Pellissippi State Community College and was sponsored by Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

Over the past eleven years, nearly 6,600 middle school students have participated in the program’s activities, which seek to keep young students inspired about mathematics. The Pellissippi State Foundation received a $17,000 grant from ORAU to support the competition, and trophies and gifts were given to the top 10 students in each grade.

Tennessee Middle School Math Competition, Pellissippi State Community College, seventh-grade individual winners

Pictured from L to R are the seventh-grade, individual award winners at the 2011 Tennessee Middle School Math Competition at Pellissippi State Community College. Back row: Daniel Yan, Farragut Middle School; Eli Derrington, West Valley Middle School; Gabe Vacalive, Jefferson Middle School; Albert Xue, West Valley Middle School; and Brittany Rowe, Jefferson Middle School. Front row: Shichen Zhang, Jefferson Middle School; Liz Enyenihi, Farragut Middle School; Melissa Yuan, Jefferson Middle School; John Lambrecht, Episcopal School of Knoxville; and Alexandra Gruszkiewicz, West Valley Middle School.

“Considering the fact that many budgets appear to be shrinking in this tough economy, it’s significant to note that a middle school math competition of this scale would not have been possible without the continuing support of ORAU,” said Jonathan Lamb, Pellissippi State math professor. “Instead, we were once again able to host the largest middle school math competition in the Southeast.”

The 31-question tests that the student competitors took were unique for the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade levels and were designed by Lamb in collaboration with site coordinators from colleges across the state of Tennessee.

Farragut Middle School in Knoxville walked away with the number-one team ranking for the best overall score in both the eighth- and sixth-grade team categories. West Valley Middle School in Knoxville took the number-one team ranking for the seventh-grade team category.

The first-place individual winners were Jessica Hyun, Bearden Middle School, sixth grade; Daniel Yan, Farragut Middle School, seventh grade; and Katherine Zhang, Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge, eighth grade.

“More and more schools around the region are placing greater emphasis on providing extra-curricular programs for mathematically gifted middle school students,” said Dr. Wayne Stevenson, ORAU vice president and director for Science Education Programs. “And it’s events like this one that help keep those students motivated and excited about learning math. Pellissippi State has done an excellent job in growing and expanding this competition into the regional asset that it is today.”

In addition to the competition, students were also treated to lunch and participated in several recreational activities such as combat laser tag, gladiator jousting, dodge ball, and big-glove boxing. At the end of the event, an awards ceremony was held to recognize the contest’s winning individuals and teams.

Results from the 2011 Middle School Math Competition
Students won prizes from $300 for first place to $25 for 10th place.

Sixth grade individual winners:

  1. Jessica Hyun (Bearden Middle School)
  2. Tyr Hondorf (Robertsville Middle School)
  3. Abe Joo (Farragut Middle School)
  4. Dakota Jackson (Maryville Intermediate School)
  5. Lawrence Zhang (Jefferson Middle School)
  6. Lily Gao (Farragut Middle School)
  7. Juliana Pulsinelli (West Valley Middle School)
  8. Spencer Flint (Farragut Middle School)
  9. David Garber (Jefferson City Middle School)
  10. William McElmurray (West Valley Middle School)

Seventh grade individual winners:

  1. Daniel Yan (Farragut Middle School)
  2. Eli Derrington (West Valley Middle School)
  3. Gabe Vacalive (Jefferson Middle School)
  4. Albert Xue (West Valley Middle School)
  5. Brittany Rowe (Jefferson Middle School)
  6. Shichen Zhang (Jefferson Middle School)
  7. Liz Enyenihi (Farragut Middle School)
  8. Melissa Yuan (Jefferson Middle School)
  9. John Lambrecht (Episcopal School of Knoxville)
  10. Alexandra Gruszkiewicz (West Valley Middle School)

Eighth grade individual winners:

  1. Katherine Zhang (Jefferson Middle School)
  2. Jason Fu (Farragut Middle School)
  3. Daniel Hong (Farragut Middle School)
  4. Abby Bower (Episcopal School of Knoxville)
  5. Kyle Parsly (Farragut Middle School)
  6. Melissa Yu (Farragut Middle School)
  7. Kai Smith (Farragut Middle School)
  8. Elliot Allen (Episcopal School of Knoxville)
  9. Hyungdon Joo (Farragut Middle School)
  10. Richard Tag (Jefferson City Middle School)

Awards were also presented for the three schools with the best overall scores at each grade level for the competition. Those were as follows:

 Sixth grade:

  1. Farragut Middle School, Knoxville
  2. Bearden Middle School, Knoxville
  3. West Valley Middle School, Knoxville

Seventh grade:

  1. West Valley Middle School, Knoxville
  2. Jefferson Middle School, Oak Ridge
  3. Farragut Middle School, Knoxville

Eighth grade:

  1. Farragut Middle School, Knoxville
  2. Jefferson Middle School, Oak Ridge
  3. Episcopal School of Knoxville

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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