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A Nation Celebrates Students in Mathematics at MathCON

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MathCON hosts 1,500 attendees at the Annual National Math Competition in Chicago

CHICAGO (PRWEB) June 06, 2018

The 10th Annual MathCON 2018 Finals went off without a hitch on Saturday, May 5, at the UIC Forum in Chicago, Illinois, where 1,500 plus attendees gathered including our future mathematicians, entrepreneurs, and leaders of tomorrow, to celebrate math and scholarship. Students, parents, and coaches spent the day hearing from guest speakers, battling in a race to solve a Rubik's cube, and honoring the accomplished students.

The 528 attending finalists took the final written exam, working to answer 45 questions in 90 minutes. The MathCON finalists comprise the top one percent of the 52,000 students who participated in the online competition. It is a high honor, then, to be part of the 95 students who were awarded Bronze, Silver, Gold, and National Champion at the finals; these 95 students make up the top 0.2 percent of competitors in the nation.

One student from each grade received the National Champion medal for achieving the highest score in their respective grade including: Alex Vennebush, 5th grade, Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, Falls Church, Virginia; Jason Zhang, 6th grade, East Middle School, Plymouth, Michigan; Nolan Yee, 7th grade, Kennedy Junior High School, Naperville, Illinois; Henry Xie, 8th grade, Kennedy Junior High School, Naperville, Illinois; Srinath Mahankali, 9th grade, Stuyvesant High School, New York, New York; Colin Murray, 10th grade, Ensworth School, Nashville, Tennessee; Prastik Mohanraj, 11th grade, Engineering and Science University Magnet School (ESUMS), West Haven, Connecticut; and Korben DiArchangel, 12th grade, Coral Academy of Science Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada.

Student Prastik Mohanraj, the 11th grade student from ESUMS, received the $500 Jones Day Award Scholarship for obtaining the highest score of all the participants who have been invited back to MathCON Finals for the fourth year in a row. Mohanjaj also received the National Championship Medal for achieving the highest score of all the 11th grade finalists in the competition.

At just 16 years old, Prastik Mohanraj achieved a perfect score on the Advanced Placement chemistry exam, and according to a congratulatory letter from The College Board, "Prastik not only received the top score of 5, but was one of 3 students in the world to earn every point possible on the AP Chemistry Exam, receiving the maximum score on each portion of the exam."  

Mohanraj talked passionately about his love of math and how important MathCON has been for him the last four years. When asked what his favorite part of MathCON was this year, Mohanraj answered:  "To be honest, it was when I was struggling with some of the problems on the exam. This exam felt much harder than past years, even accounting for the grade level difference. I struggled, it felt difficult, I was wracking my brain, but thinking back in retrospect, I enjoyed having that bigger challenge. I think that was the most fascinating part of this experience for me."

Colin Murray, the 10th grade MathCON National Champion from Ensworth High School in Nashville, Tennessee, is referred to as the ‘Mathematician' by his school and community: "I like that I am with a whole class of people who are good at math. Instead of just working at math on my own, I have more students to learn with at the same level, and it pushes me to do better. My classmates are all very supportive," said Murray. An honor student at Ensworth, Murray is very active in school, often competing in local, state, and national math competitions as well as being involved in robotics, chess, and swim. He will also attend the Hampshire College Summer Studies in Mathematics program this summer.

Alex Vennebush, the 5th grade student from Thomas Jefferson Elementary School in Falls Church, Virginia, achieved the highest fifth grade level score earning himself the National Champion medal and furthermore, achieved the highest test score of all competing 528 students at MathCON. He attended MathCON alongside his twin brother, Eli, and a handful of other students from his school. Heidi Lang, the Gifted Specialist at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, said that her students loved the challenge of MathCON, adding that "For days after returning from the finals, they enthusiastically discussed the math problems encountered in the competition and have already asked how they can participate next year."

Another accomplished student, fourth grader William Beesley from Phillips Brooks School in Menlo Park, California, was awarded an Honorable Mention at MathCON at the fifth grade level. Beesley was slightly disadvantaged in the beginning of the online test, stating that his dad, Michael Beesley, started the timer for his test while he was outside playing basketball so he didn't miss the deadline to compete in MathCON. With the loss of time, Beesley was still able to finish the entire test in just 30 minutes, securing himself a seat at MathCON Finals. Phillips Brooks School principal, Scott Erickson, said, "You're very fortunate to have met William, who is an absolutely terrific and wonderful student. When I talked with him yesterday, he was delightfully shy about his trip to Chicago and how impressive he is! We are all very proud of him." Beesley was also the second highest scoring student taking the fifth grade level test from California.

Several schools including Kennedy Junior High School in Naperville, Illinois; East Middle School in Plymouth, Michigan; and Coral Academy of Las Vegas, had more than 25 students qualify for MathCON Finals. Of these schools,  two students from Kennedy Junior High School, Nolan Yee and Henry Xie, won the National Champion awards for 7th and 8th grades respectively; one student, Jason Zhang, from East Middle School won the National Champion award for 6th grade; and one student, Korben DiArchangel, from Coral Academy of Las Vegas won the 12th grade National Champion medal at MathCON as well as student Spencer Rhodes achieving one of the only five perfect scores on the online portion of the test that nearly 52,000 students competed in and walked away with a Gold Medal from Finals.

Other students expressed their excitement about participating in MathCON for this first time and getting to make new friends and peers who enjoy math as much as they do. Tom London – Tech Magician & Hacker, ended his time with the students by encouraging them to connect with each other. He talked of the importance of collaboration and learning together, and encouraged contestants to walk away from the event with life-long friends rather than just competitors.
We congratulate all of the students who participated in MathCON, as that is an honor in itself to be in the top one percent of competing students nationwide.  MathCON Finals next year will be held on April 27, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.

About MathCON
MathCON is a nonprofit national mathematics organization that integrates its annual competition series with educational resources and opportunities for students and educators, developed to enhance mathematics education. MathCON hosts an annual student mathematics competition for students in grades 5-12 every spring, and has had more than 200,000 student participants since 2008. Students from charter, public and private schools as well as individual students are eligible to compete in MathCON. Their vision is to build a collaborative mathematics community for students and educators in order to support, advocate and influence STEM education in the U.S. to pave the way for the 21st century generation of problem-solvers.

For more information or to become a sponsor, please contact JoLynn Blatz, jolynn@conceptschools.org or 847-227-9873.

For the original version on PRWeb visit: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2018/06/prweb15540002.htm

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