“Are YOU smarter than an Archimedean fifth grader?” Archimedean Academy Students Qualify to Compete in the Final Round of the Pi Math Contest in California
When an invitation to compete in a mathematics competitions came in, it is of no suprise that Archimedean students were more than eager to participate, 11 elementary students performing so well that they qualified as part of only 250 top candidates from various states across the entire country to compete in the national-level of the Pi Math Contest taking place in California this spring.
Miami, FL – Though labor demands vary across the nation, there have been warnings of shortages of American-grown and educated professionals entering certain essential STEM – science, technology, engineering, and mathematics - sectors needed to maintain the U.S.’ status as a competitive, global leader in innovation and to provide for adequate national security (Larson & Xue, 2015). As such, Miami’s own Archimedean Schools, conservatories of mathematics and Greek language, are doing their part to help remedy this trend by providing students with a rigorous, advanced curriculum, students completing, in addition to their studies in language, social studies, humanities, sciences, arts, and more, double the mathematics coursework yearly from kindergarten on, the goal being to build in students the strong mathematics foundations necessary to guarantee future college success in all areas of study, including the often intimidating, yet fascinating and innovative STEM fields. In an effort to augment natural math talents further and make math fun, Archimedean students with a passion for numbers and problem solving also regularly engage in extracurricular competitions and activities. In an effort to nurture a love of mathematics from early on, the Archimedean Academy even offers its young math team members additional mathematics training through their ArchiMath club, which meets every day after school but Wednesdays from 3-3:45PM. When an invitation came in from the Bay Area Mathematics Coordination at Star League, Dr. Ali Gurel, to participate in this year’s Pi Math Contest, Archimedean, as expected, welcomed this new and exciting challenge. And so, last January, 21 Archimedean Academy students set out to test their math prowess by competing in the preliminary round of the Pi Math Contest, 11 students scoring high enough to qualify to compete against other talented young minds from around the country in the final round of competitions later this spring.
The Pi Math Contest, now in its third year of existence, is open to elementary students in first through fifth grade. The first round of competition consists of an individual forty-minute, 25-question test, covering topics related to numbers, counting, geometry, and word problems, the best 250 students from across the nation being invited to compete in the final round later in the spring. Congratulations to fifth graders Nicole Achi, Genti Aliaj, Sofie Balmelli, Rajat Bidarkota, Jason Bustos, Isabela Calderin, Luke Hands, Benjamin Partain, Enzo Sampaio, John Tebou, and Samantha Ynclan for qualifying to compete on April 29 in Santa Clara, California, in this final round among other finalists from California, Nevada, Massachusetts, and Florida.
This being the first year that Archimedean students participate in the Pi Math Contest, the results have been more than fulfilling already. As the Academy’s ArchiMath Coach and Mathematics Coordinator, Ms. Alexandra Georgiou, shares, “my passion is to inspire and challenge children to love learning,” her favorite guiding words being those by the famous Albert Einstein, who once said that “the value of education is not the learning of many facts, but the training of the mind to think.” These students are certainly lucky to be guided by a teacher like Ms. Georgiou given that her passion for educating and preparing students for the future is unmistakable!