Steamboat Springs Middle School students, from left, Tommy Lyon, Danny Martinson, Noah Glaisher and Dan Bye, discuss a sample math exam from a recent American Mathematics Contest in the library at the school in Steamboat Springs on Thursday morning.

Photo by Brian Ray

Steamboat Springs Middle School students, from left, Tommy Lyon, Danny Martinson, Noah Glaisher and Dan Bye, discuss a sample math exam from a recent American Mathematics Contest in the library at the school in Steamboat Springs on Thursday morning.

Students place in top 5 percent in math competition

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Top scores

Top middle school scores on the American Mathematics Competition

Gold Medalist - Noah Glaisher

Silver Medalists - Dan Bye and Danny Martinson

Bronze Medalists - Asher Rohde and Tommy Lyon

Top Female - Martha Anderson

— Steamboat Springs Middle School students faced some brain-busting questions on a recent American Mathematics Competition test, including:

"The average age of five people in a room is 30 years. An 18-year-old person leaves the room. What is the average age of the four remaining people?"

Some students may have chosen 25, and others may have answered 29, but Noah Glaisher correctly penciled in 33, which was just one of many right answers that placed the eight-grader in the top 5 percent of the 170,000 students who took the nationwide test.

Noah, who displayed his mental chops in March by reciting the first 354 numbers of the infinite decimal pi, said he was surprised he placed as the school's gold medalist in the math competition.

"I didn't get through all the questions, I only did 24," Noah said of the 25-question test. "I thought other students would beat me."

No students at the middle school topped Noah, who bested all 112 of his test-taking classmates.

"Noah's score, when I looked at the state statistics, there were 31 students in the entire state who scored as high as Noah or higher," said middle school teacher Tracy Stoddard. "Overall, our students did great, and we had three students who placed in the top 5 percent in the nation."

The exam was designed for eighth-grade students, but Stoddard noted many sixth- and seventh-graders also volunteered to take the test.

Eighth-graders Danny Martinson and Dan Bye - who shared the school's silver medal in the competition - joined Noah as competitors placing in the nation's top 5 percent.

"I felt pretty comfortable with it, but there were different questions than last year," said Dan, who also created a five-minute video showcasing the math contest medalists.

"I didn't feel like I did very good at all," he said. "It turns out, I didn't do as well as Noah, but I did pretty well."

Eighth-grader Martha Anderson recorded the school's top female score. She also was confident after the test.

"I don't think the test really required definite math skills, you just had to know where to plug in the right numbers," she said. "I skipped a couple hard questions, and I didn't think I'd do as well, but I'm happy with how I did."

Martha said she has always been good at math, but it is far from her favorite subject.

"I'd rather go to art or shop class," she said. "I don't think any of us really go home and hit the books like you think. Most of us go home, change and go over to Howelsen (Hill)."

Stoddard, who is the middle school's Gifted and Talented teacher, said not all of the school's top performers were in the Gifted and Talented program.

"Our philosophy at our school is that we want to offer opportunities to every kid," she said. "A lot of times it's gifted and talented students who take on those challenges, but we don't ever want to close it for other kids."

- To reach Mike McCollum, call 871-4208

or e-mail mmccollum@steamboatpilot.com

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