Every Spring, math teacher Michael Fenton takes his junior high and high school honors and AP students to Math Field Day, an event consisting of various mathematic related competitions, held at California State University, Fresno (CSU), during its annual Vintage Day festival, April 21.
While the students who attend spend their Sat. morning competing in the different activities at CSU, those who opt out of the event are required to write a mathematics-based research paper.
There are three activities that students participate in. The most common is "The Game," which is based on game theory. The second event is the "Mad Hatter," an individual competition with participants solving various math problems of escalating difficulty. The final event is "Leap Frog," where students solve difficult problems with the help of a partner.
FC has continually performed well at Math Field Day, placing first in the small school division both last year and in 2010, while placing second in 2008 and 2009.
Fenton has been in charge of organizing FC's team since 2007.
"I think it is important for math students to have an experience outside of the classroom...most wouldn't go on their on, yet they are also glad they went most of the time." -- Michael Fenton, math teacher
"I think it is important for math students to have an experience outside of the classroom," Fenton said. "Most wouldn't go on their own, yet they are also glad they went most of the time."
Algebra I Honors student, Elise Winegarden, '15, will be participating for the first time this year in "The Game."
"I've never been to this event so I have no idea what to expect," Winegarden said. "I think it will be a fun experience and hope to do well."
In addition to many new participants, many older students are competing and hoping to improve. Jordan Boudreau, '13, is competing in "Mad Hatter" for his second time.
"Since most people don't do the harder math related activities, I volunteered to do Mad Hatter and help our team," Boudreau said. "I didn't do so great in Mad Hatter my freshman year because most of the material I hadn't learned. But I have taken more advanced math classes since then and so hope to do better this year."
For more information on Math Field Day, read the May 6, 2011 article, FC excels at Math Field Day.
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