February is math month for local schools, with middle school student teams competing in Math Counts (and the one from Bailey advancing to the state competition) and Davidson Elementary holding its annual Math Fair.
We add up the local math results, and also have a report on special recognition given to Davidson IB as a magnet school of excellence, along with news of student honors for: artists at the IB, musicians at Bailey Middle and student-athletes at Davidson Day.
Plus, there’s a full calendar of upcoming school events this spring.
MATH COUNTS TEAMS COMPETE
A triangle has three different integer side lengths and a perimeter of 20 units. What is the maximum length of any one side?
Bill pays $49 for an item after it has been discounted 30%. What was the original price of the item?
That’s just a sample of the kinds of question local “mathletes” have been working on to prepare for the annual Math Counts competition. Several area middle schools sent teams to regional competitions, and the team from Bailey Middle will be advancing to the state tournament in March.
The Math Counts Competition Program has been working for the past 26 years to help students push themselves to achieve more in mathematics. In North Carolina, 276 teams competed in regional competitions sponsored by the Professional Engineers of North Carolina.
Bailey Middle‘s team is in its second year, coached by sixth grade math teacher Rosemary Klein and mathematics Ph.D. Dr. Carol Robinson. Students in Bailey’s Math Counts club have been meeting at 7:30 a.m. twice a week since the fall to tackle Math Counts sample problems. Eight club members were then selected to represent the school at the South Piedmont Regional held at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte Feb. 7. South Piedmont is one of the two largest Math Counts chapters in the state, which means the top five teams get to advance to the state tournament.
Bailey’s team placed fourth among 36 teams from the greater Charlotte area. Ms. Klein and Dr. Robinson attributed the team’s success to their ability to work together.
“We are so proud of them!” Ms. Klein said.
The foursome of seventh graders Ryan Wydra and Matthew Marlow and eighth graders Ryan Adams and Nolan Salama now have an extra incentive to sharpen their pencils for math drills as they get ready for state, while the rest of the Math Counts club is working to prepare for next year.
Also competing at the South Piedmont Regional were teams from the Children’s Community School, which placed 15th, and the team from Davidson IB, which placed 17th.
Joanne Steranko, Math Counts coach at CCS, said this year’s competition was a first for the school, which is in the process of expanding beyond the elementary level and currently runs through seventh grade (with plans to add eighth grade next year).
“We started out the year as a club, but students wanted to pursue the competition,” she said.
The debut team for CCS consisted of sixth grader Tyler Sholes, and seventh graders Caden Mayo, Tucker Thompson and David Katibah.
Woodlawn School and Pine Lake Prep competed in the Central Piedmont Chapter competition, held in Hickory Feb. 1o. Woodlawn’s team of seventh grader Daniel Wyatt and eighth graders Fiona Lynch, Annie Wacker and Allie Nagelski placed 8th out of 28 teams.
MATH FAIR DRAWS 175 PROJECTS
The Davidson Elementary School math fair got students pondering everything from whether their street is wide enough to handle parked cars and firetrucks (it’s not, says Emma Landau), to whether mom should keep her Camry or buy a Prius if she wants to save money (buy the Prius, says Ben Sellers), to the cost of a dream party ($327.87, says Bill Bragg, unless he decided to forgo the moonbounce).
Event organizer Colleen Thrailkill said 202 students were involved in this year’s fair, which resulted in the display of 175 three-fold display boards explaining projects. A panel of judges — consisting of retired educators, Davidson College math professors and others — awarded ribbons and, for the first time this year, also gave “honorable mentions.” Wednesday night parents strolled through the gym checking out all the projects.
Each year, current affairs influence projects. For the 2008 fair, presidential polling was a hot topic. This time around, fuel efficiency proved popular, as did the economy, and even the local issue of whether the McConnell neighborhood should get curbside mailboxes or continue to send residents to the Davidson post office. Projects by fourth grader Kerry Dennis and fifth grader Madeline Dreffer both won ribbons by computing the damage to the environment for sending all those McConnell folks to the post office every day — Madeline calculated that “120 tons of CO2 are burned every year” driving to the post office, while Kerry found that “Having the post office deliver the mail last year would have saved our environment 5,286 gallons of gas.”
Several projects included elaborate modeling, including a papier-mache reproduction of the Hoover Dam by Jordan Taylor, the popsicle stick version of bridge trusses to demonstrate compression and tension (the winner for the fifth grade by Chase Messer and Jeremy Collier), and a scale model of a proposed irrigation lake for Davidson College that Will and Steven Holthouser computed will need 32.6 million gallons of water to fill.
The top two projects in each grade level will advance to the Western Region Math Fair next month at Appalachian State University.
Here’s a complete list of this year’s winners:
1st place, Chase Messer and Jeremy Collier, “Trusses”
2nd place, Madeline Dreffer, “Mailman vs. Post Office”
3rd place, Ryan Titus, “What’s the Best Combination?”
Honorable mentions:Keegan Miller, “Estimation and Sample Size;” and Kathryn Venzon, “Water Works”
1st place, Kerry Dennis, “The Math of Mailboxes for McConnell”
2nd place, Will and Steven Holthouser, “How Many Gallons is in the Pond?”
3rd place, Tyler Turner and Elizabeth Holmes, “The Ret-Het Number System”
Honorable mentions: Emma Landau, “Fire! Fire!” and Lauren Drakulic, “M&M Geometry”
1st place, Ben Sellers, “Is it Time to Go Green?”
2nd place, James Bragg, “My Dream Party”
3rd place, Kirby Bragg, “My Chicken Project”
honorable mentions: Graeme Elrod, “Ratios: Working with Scale;” and Aubrey Dyckman, “Does the VIC Card Save You Money?”
HONORS FOR DAVIDSON IB
Davidson IB Middle School has been named a Magnet School of Excellence by the Magnet Schools of America. School representatives will be honored at the association’s 27thannual conference, which will be hosted by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. School representatives will receive a plaque during an awards ceremony and are in competition for the American Education Solutions Secondary School of Merit Award for $2500. (For a list of the 53 schools who received the designation, including 10 in North Carolina, click here.)
Davidson IB Middle School serves 247 students in grades six through eight from across Mecklenburg County. It was selected from among candidate schools nationwide based on criteria such as desegregation, innovative instructional strategies, student achievement, and parent and community involvement.
“Davidson IB is like a close-knit family. Faculty, parents and students work in concert to assure the success of all,” says principal, Dr. Jo Karney.
Sandra Day, president of Magnet Schools of American, and Dr. Robert G. Brooks, executive director, will present the award during the national conference, which runs from April 26 – 29 at the Charlotte Westin/Hilton and Convention Center.
IB ARTISTS RECOGNIZED
Four artists from Davidson IB Middle were among those selected for gold or silver awards at the regional chapter of the national Alliance for Young Artists and Writers.
Receiving a “gold key” in painting was Margo Diefenbach, whose work is on view in the Wachovia Gallery on the first floor of the Spirit Square building in downtown Charlotte through April 1st.
Receiving “silver keys” were Morgan Ingraham, ceramics; Louise Pilsbury, painting; and Blair Langford, ceramics (with an honorable mention in painting).
BAILEY BAND/ORCHESTRA WIN HONORS SEATS
Musicians at Bailey Middle have recently been named to district honors groups.
The band placed two members on the 2009 South Central District Middle School Honors Band. Students from a 10-county area auditioned to be among the 100 students selected for this band, which holds clinics and a music festival. From Bailey, Holly Bernesser was named the first chair tenor saxophone, while eighth-grader Alex Kirven was named 10th chair trumpet.
The Bailey band also recently competed in the Harris Teeter “Sing My Jingle” contest. The band recorded their version of the jingle at the Davidson store on Feb. 9. The winner will receive $10,000 for their school.
Three members of the Bailey orchestra were awarded positions with the CMS Middle School Honors Orchestra. They are: Hannah Beck, seventh grade, cello; Matt Kennan, eighth grade, violin; and Lindsay McMillan, seventh grade, violin.
DAVIDSON DAY BROTHERS RECOGNIZED AS STUDENT ATHLETES
Two Davidson Day School students were recognized at the Athletes in Action Super Bowl Breakfast held Saturday, Jan. 31 at Huntersville Presbyterian Church.
Truman Spittel, a seventh grader at Davidson Day, won the Student Athlete Leadership Award for the middle school category. He is a member of the lacrosse and basketball teams at Davidson Day and in the fall will help launch the inaugural Middle School Football team. His brother Grayson Spittel, a tenth grader, was a finalist for the high school category, and is a member of the track, cross country and soccer teams at Davidson Day.
The awards were open to all Mecklenburg County schools, public and private, and over 300 nominees were considered for the honors. Truman and Grayson were among the athletes recognized for providing outstanding examples of leadership, honesty, service, perseverance, compassion and respect for others in their lives.
TEACHER APPRECIATION DOES NOT STOP FOR THE SNOW!
Teacher appreciation does not fall victim to snow days at Davidson Elementary School. The Parent-Teacher Assocation for the school had scheduled a teacher appreciation luncheon for President’s Day, which was originally scheduled as a teacher work day, but ended up being a snow makeup day. Undeterred, the PTA held a teacher luncheon during the school day Friday, Feb. 13, with catering provided by Jersey Mike’s Subs in Cornelius.
There are a lot of teachers to appreciate at DES, including this year’s teacher of the year Katie Radcliff, and teacher assistant of the year Amy Boykin.
The eighth-grade “Problem Solving Class” at Davidson IB took advantage of the beautiful weather Friday, Feb. 13, to walk along South Street to the campus of Davidson College. The class made yards and yards of paper chains out of newspaper, which were the requested decorations for that night’s Davidson Green Week Green Ball.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR!
- Friday, Feb. 20 – Davidson Elementary will hold its annual “Father/Daughter Dance,” 7-9 p.m. in the school gym. Tickets are $5 per girl, but her best guy can come for free. Free 4×6 photos will be available for all attending couples.
- Tuesday, Feb. 24 – Police Officer Daniel Waltman will discuss the influence of pop music on youth at a Parent Education Coffee Hour that starts at 9:30 a.m. in the Bailey Middle School orchestra room. Light refreshments will be served.
- Wednesday, Feb. 25 – Walking Wednesday for Children’s Community School.
- Wednesday, Feb. 25 – Three day trip to Washington, D.C. for Davidson Elementary fifth-graders.
- Tuesday, March 3 – Parent University free class, “Managing Stress for Teens,” starts at 6:30 p.m. at Bailey Middle.
- Thursday, March 5 – Art Fest at Davidson Elementary.
- Thursday, March 12 - Battle of the Books competition for the CMS North Learning Community. Both Bailey and Davidson IB have teams that will compete to show what they know about a list of 27 books selected by the North Carolina School Media Association.
- Monday, April 20 - The 2009 Annual Davidson Day School Golf Tournament will be held on at the River Run Golf Club in Davidson. This will be the main fundraiser for the Patriots Club 2008-09 year.
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