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Saugus students have a field day in math competition

Posted: March 25, 2013 6:48 p.m.
Updated: March 25, 2013 6:48 p.m.

From left, Plum Canyon Elementary School fifth graders Dania Salman, Maansi Narain, Michael Kleinfeld and Cameron Nale work out a problem as part of Math Field Day for the Saugus Union School District. Some 180 children participated. Signal photo by Luke Money


About 180 of the best and brightest mathematical minds in the Saugus Union School District gathered at Plum Canyon Elementary School for a number-crunching competition last weekend.

The competition, known as “Math Field Day,” took four-member teams of fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from each of the 15 schools in the Saugus district and tested them on a variety of mathematical concepts, including algebra, geometry and statistics.

The tests are then graded and the top teams from each grade are announced. Every student who participates in the event gets a certificate with his or her name on it, according to Plum Canyon Principal Mary Jane Kelly.

Saturday’s event was about the 25th year the district has held “Math Field Day,” Kelly said.

One of the primary reasons for the event is to give recognition for the students’ academic prowess, said first-grade teacher Jodi Iwafuchi, who helped run the event.

“In sports, there’s a lot of recognition,” Iwafuchi said. “But a lot of times students may not get the same recognition for their academic accomplishments.”

Each of the schools in the district selects students to send to the event, Iwafuchi said, so all the participants are “the best and brightest” math students a school has to offer.

Kelly, who said she had not been the biggest fan of math herself when she was in school, added that another goal of the event is to cultivate a love of the subject in students.

As for why students would willingly spend four hours at school on a Saturday, the reason was clear.

“I’m really interested in math,” said Ally Conant, a first-time participant from Plum Canyon. “I love it a lot, so this is super fun.”
On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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