UFV 2010 Math Contest
They proudly embrace the term ‘mathlete’ and welcome the chance to compete against other equation aficionados and word problem pros.

The University of the Fraser Valley hosted 123 students from Grades 7 through 12 at its 13th annual math contest at the Chilliwack campus on May 10. The students came from 20 middle and secondary schools, some of which were sending a team for the first time.

Ask any of the various groups hanging around campus how the contest questions were, and you’ll hear variations on “tough,” “really hard,” and “difficult.”

But that doesn’t mean they aren’t glad they came.
“It was a real challenge, and it made me think,” commented Joel Goshulak of Chilliwack Middle.

“It was a really good learning experience,” added his classmate Candice Van Den Dorpal. “The hardest part was having to write out descriptions of how you discovered your answers.”

They and their Chilliwack Middle classmates, including Logan Phillips, Rachel Leonard, and Angela Lee, have career aspirations that range from fighter pilot to physician, engineer, and fashion designer, and they know that math plays a role in all those disciplines.

Grade 12s David Fawcett and Brandon Gill of WJ Mouat school in Abbotsford acknowledged that the contest was “pretty tough.”

“More frustrating than interesting,” was how Gill put it. Unlike a math test at school that measures what the students know, a math contest is designed to challenge the boundaries of what they know. It’s okay to not finish it in the time allowed — most people don’t.

Gill, who plans to study business at UFV, likes math because “there is always a right answer. You can count on a concrete solution, unlike subjects like English.”

Chelsea Van Leeuwen and Olivier Coutant of St. Jean Brebeuf enjoyed the challenge.

“It opens you up to new ideas,” said Coutant. “It’s like finding a new puzzle at the back of your closet that you haven’t done before,” added Van Leeuwen.

Teachers Leanne Bartel and Karin Loots of Highroad Academy were bringing a team for the first time.

“Ours is a small school, so it’s neat for our students to get out and see that there are other math lovers in the world. It sounds like the contest was tough, but it was doable and they were quite keen,” said Bartel. “We also enjoyed the professional development opportunities offered to the teachers.”

Winners of this year’s contest are:
Senior category (in order from first to seventh):
Chung Jun Kim, Yale Secondary; Sam Chang Chien, Sardis Secondary; David Park, Abbotsford Christian; Jiyong Kim, Highroad Academy; David Kim, Abbotsford Christian; Wesley Fritzke, Abbotsford Collegiate; David Dueckman, Mennonite Educational Institute.

Junior category (in order from first to seventh):
Sung Il Ahn, Abbotsford Middle; Ji Sup Kim, Yale Secondary; So Mi Ahn, Abbotsford Christian; Daniel Schwarz, Mennonite Educational Institute; Steven Esau, Mennonite Educational Institute; Grace Kim, Mennonite Educational Institute; Kevin Kim, Yale Secondary.
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