Morgan Academy math team wins state championship

Published 8:11 pm Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Once a week, they worked old math tests. After diligently studying, the five members of the Morgan Academy middle school math team won it all.

With the distinction of first place in the AISA State Middle School Math Competition on Friday, Morgan students can relax.

Team members are Coleman Smith, Connor Henderson, Charlie Ammons, Tayler Fancher and Katherine Averitt.

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Shelby Fancher, one of the sponsors, made sure her students were well prepared.

“They had to work 300 extra math problems before the competition,” Fancher said.

Students worked problems on tests from previous math competitions and ACT preparation problems. All problems are eighth-grade level, such as area and perimeter equations.

“After each competition they’ll give you the test back,” said Tayler Fancher, a student on the team.

Qualifying for state was a new experience for all members of the team.

“I was excited to get to go, but I was still nervous,” Fancher said. “I was afraid I’d mess up.”

She did well, despite her apprehension. Both Fancher and Charlie Ammons scored the highest on Morgan’s team.

Ammons found the difficulty of the state test to be relatively equivalent to the district test.

“It was a bit longer and more complex, but it wasn’t entirely different,” Ammons said.

The competition tested the knowledge of students from seven districts in the state. Each tests had 50 multiple-choice questions to be completed in a 1 ?-hour span.

Ammons and his teammates used the extra time they had to check over answers. He found about three or four errors that he corrected before turning in the test.

The four highest individual scores comprise the team score grade on a scale from 0 to 50, a total of 0 to 200 per team.

Sponsors then graded the tests. To keep score sheets anonymous, students were assigned numbers and given these numbers after the sponsors left the room.

Students also were shuffled at tables of five people that contained no students from the same school at the same table.

Once it was announced that Morgan placed first, Ammons felt relieved because the tension and nervousness from all the preparation had paid off.

“I’m proud of the whole team,” Ammons said. “We worked together and come out on top.”