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ORAU sponsors Tennessee Middle School Math Competition held at Pellissippi State Community College

Math competition celebrates 14 years since program started

May 20, 2014

Jefferson Middle School students pose with trophy won at Tennessee Middle School Math Competition

Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge won best overall score and was recognized for being the top school in the seventh-grade level at the Tennessee Middle School Math Competition recently held at Pellissippi State Community College. Pictured from L to R: Dean Evasius, ORAU vice president and director of Science Education Programs, Ms. Rosa Falkner (teacher at Jefferson), Bill Andress, Ethan Brady, Steven Qu, Henry Shen, Kenny Moon and Eagle Yuan.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn.—More than 600 students from 40 area schools competed for the honor of being named the top middle school math students in East Tennessee. The 2014 Tennessee Middle School Math Competition, now in its 14th year, was held recently at Pellissippi State Community College and was sponsored by ORAU.

During the past 14 years, more than 8,000 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 presented to the top 20 students in each grade and to the school with the highest overall score for each grade.

“Without the continuing support of ORAU, hosting a middle school math competition of this size would be impossible,” said Jonathan Lamb, Pellissippi State math professor. “As many budgets appear to be shrinking in this economy, we are fortunate once again to have the opportunity to host the largest middle school math competition in the Southeast.”

The 60-minute, multiple choice and short answer tests that the student competitors took were unique for the sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade levels. Lamb designed the tests in collaboration with site coordinators from colleges across the state of Tennessee.

Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge walked away with the No. 1 team ranking for the best overall score in both the sixth- and seventh-grade team categories. Farragut Middle School in Knoxville took the No. 1 team ranking for the eighth-grade team category.

The first-place individual winners for top overall scores were all from Jefferson Middle School in Oak Ridge and included Yikun Zhang, sixth grade; William Andress, seventh grade; and Joseph Andress, eighth grade.

“More and more schools around the region are providing extracurricular programs for mathematically gifted middle school students,” said Dean Evasius, ORAU vice president and director of Science Education Programs. “Events like this one help keep students motivated and excited about learning math; Pellissippi State has done an excellent job in growing and expanding this competition into the regional success that it is today.”

In addition to the competition, students also were treated to lunch and participated in several recreational activities, such as music, games and a laser tag area. At the end of the event, an awards ceremony was held to recognize the contest’s winning individuals and teams.

Results from the 2014 Middle School Math Competition

Individual students won prizes ranging from $500 for first place to $15 for 20th place.

Individual Top 20 from the 2014 Competition:
  6th Grade 7th Grade 8th Grade
1. Yikun Zhang, Jefferson Middle William Andress, Jefferson Middle Joseph Andress, Jefferson Middle
2. Melody Guo, Jefferson Middle Henry Shen, Jefferson Middle Adithyan Sujithkumar, Robertsville Middle
3. Andrew Brady, Jefferson Middle David Joy, Robertsville Middle Ryan Hart, Farragut Middle
4. Tejit Pamidi, Boyd Buchanan Will Hong, Farragut Middle Daniel Choo, Farragut Middle
5. Aditya Bal, Farragut Middle Ben Joo, Farragut Middle Lawrence Zhang, Jefferson Middle
6. Nandini Rana, Farragut Middle Edward Moran, Oliver Springs Middle Eric Wang, Farragut Middle
7. Luke Kronzer, Farragut Middle Ethan Brady, Jefferson Middle Amy VanderMerwe, Cedar Springs Homeschool
8. Emily Walker, West Valley Middle Kevin Chen, Farragut Middle Andrew Jerome, Cedar Springs Homeschool
9. Joey Noce, Karns Middle Bryson Gullett, Karns Middle Alexander Fahey, Jefferson Middle
10. Nolan Robertson, Robertsville Middle Jessie Pitz, Robertsville Middle Roshan Soni, Cleveland Middle
11. Jonas Dixon, Coulter Grove Intermediate Cole Lawrence, Cedar Bluff Middle Connor Shelander, Robertsville Middle
12. Parker Martz, West Valley Middle Karry Su, West Valley Middle Austin Gardner, West Valley Middle
13. Henry Astor, Coulter Grove Intermediate Dane Morgan, West Valley Middle Kevin Chen, West Valley Middle
14. Jake Bronkala, Karns Middle Helen Babb, Bearden Middle Brian Byerly, Cleveland Middle
15. Will Feldman, Karns Middle Matthew Charles, Oliver Springs Middle Kathryn Jackson, Maryville Junior High
16. Andrew Sanders, Coulter Grove Intermediate Mihir Patel, Sevierville Middle Rahul Bhojwani, Pi Beta Phi Elementary
17. Jacob Cheney, Robertsville Middle Elliot Hooks, Carter Middle John Singh, Robertsville Middle
18. Braxton Chaney, Maury Middle Hayden Harb, West Valley Middle John Klett, Cedar Bluff Middle
19. Jason Catuncan, West Valley Middle Abbey Swanner, Clinton Middle Russell Steadman, Farragut Middle
20. Kathleen Alcock, Cleveland Middle Lauren Proctor, Cleveland Middle Jordan Nichols, Clinton Middle

Trophies also were presented to three schools with the best overall scores for each grade level for the competition, including the following:

  • Sixth grade: Jefferson Middle School
  • Seventh grade: Jefferson Middle School
  • Eighth grade: Farragut Middle Schoool

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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