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MONTHLY FEATURE

18 STUDENTS EARN TOP HONORS IN STATE MATH FAIR

Some of North Carolina’s best and brightest student mathematicians gathered in May for some friendly competition during the 2015 North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCCTM) State Math Fair. The event was held at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham. Eighteen students in grades K-12 took home awards from the fair for projects ranging from “Causation, Correlation and Cold: Does Winter Weather Cause School Absences Due to Cold?” to “What’s Wrong With Wall Street?”

“These math fair competitors show such a passion for mathematics and learning, and I am so grateful that they had an opportunity to showcase their interests and talents at such a special event,” said State Superintendent June Atkinson. Atkinson said the regional and statewide math fairs enable students to test their skills beyond the contours of the classroom and apply their knowledge to real-world challenges. “This is exactly the type of experience that helps prepare students for college and a career.”

Students gained a spot in the state competition by securing first, second or third place or an honorable mention in one of the three math fairs held in March in western, central and eastern North Carolina. All public school students were eligible to enter one of the regional math fairs.

The fair projects were judged on seven criteria: written documentation, oral presentation, development and demonstration of mathematical concepts, investigation beyond everyday classroom investigation, student creativity, organization of ideas and appearance.

The first NCCTM State Math Fair was held in 1997 at the Hillandale Staff Development Center in Durham. As a part of the inaugural event, six judges reviewed about 45 projects. During the past 18 years, 1,500 students have showcased 1,200 projects at the annual statewide event.  

Following are the 18 students who placed in the 2015 NCCTM State Math Fair:


Primary Division, Grades K-2

First Place:
Caden Bringewatt
"Westward Ho!"
Bringewatt Learning Community
Davidson, NC

Second Place:
Ashwin Varadarajan
"Mom! No Bath for Me Today"
H.C. Bellamy Elementary School (New Hanover County Schools)
Wilmington, NC

Third Place:
Sarrah Kitchell "Causation, Correlation and Cold:
Does Winter Weather Cause School Absences Due to Cold?"
Valle Crucis Elementary School (Watauga County Schools)
Sugar Grove, NC

Honorable Mention:
Ainsley Kiser
"Eating is Fun"
Coddle Creek Elementary School (Iredell-Statesville Schools)
Mooresville, NC

Cody Surface
"Is 250 Yards Enough?"
E. K. Powe Elementary School (Durham Public Schools)
Durham, NC


Elementary Division, Grades 3-5

First Place:
Reif Snyder
"Urban and Rural Voting"
Woodland Heights Elementary School (Iredell-Statesville Schools)
Mooresville, NC

Second Place:
Sreenidhi Elayaperumal
"Pascal's Triangle"
Cox Mill Elementary School (Cabarrus County Schools)
Concord, NC

Third Place:
Varun Varadarajan
"Will I Have to Swim to College?"
H.C. Bellamy Elementary School (New Hanover County Schools)
Wilmington, NC

Honorable Mention:
Jeannette Graham and Kevin Laur
"Bat Moves"
Balfour Elementary School (Asheboro City Schools)
Asheboro, NC

Isaac Barsoum
"Superbowl Correlations"
Davidson Elementary School (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools)
Davidson, NC

Sam Schneider
"Feeding Our Planet"
Dr. John Codington Elementary School (New Hanover County Schools)
Wilmington, NC


Middle School Division, Grades 6-8

First Place:
Valerie Kitchell
"Pencils, Pens and Profit: Using Linear Programming to Maximize Profit at Our School Store"
Valle Crucis School (Watauga County Schools)
Sugar Grove, NC

Second Place:
Ethan Brewer
"Solving for the Belt Length of a Fixed Pulley System"
E. B. Aycock Middle School (Pitt County Schools)
Greenville, NC

Third Place:
Keenan Wasklewicz
"Comparing the Numbers of Blades on a Wind Turbine to Energy Production"
E. B. Aycock Middle School (Pitt County Schools)
Greenville, NC

Honorable Mention:
Toby Bryson
"Fact or Friction?"
Hope Middle School (Pitt County Schools)
Greenville, NC


High School Division, Grades 9-12

First Place:
Sumani Nunna
"What's Wrong With Wall Street?"
Cox Mill High School (Cabarrus County Schools)
Concord, NC

Second Place:
Lindy Bustabad
"Calculating Crimes"
Clinton High School (Clinton City Schools)
Clinton, NC

For more information on the NCCTM math fairs, visit NCCTM.org.