BY GABBY SONKIN
Mu Alpha Theta (MAO) hosted its annual regional competition on March 4 at the Bay. The MAO chapter placed second in Sweepstakes where trophies were given to the top competitors. The competition was among 51 schools from five different counties.
Math teacher and adviser of MAO Jessica Stillman said the competitors were well prepared for the weekend as they took home trophies from a variety of events.
“Seeing the bond of the team and fostering the student growth within has been incredibly rewarding,” Mrs. Stillman said. “During this competition, I watched them all grow in their own unique ways leading to an overall victory.”
Mrs. Stillman said similarly to other years, hosting their own annual competition resulted in the members of the team being more involved than in other tournaments. The team’s involvement was at an all-time high with 97 students competing this year.
“Many students who would not compete normally were willing to participate due to the fact it was at their own school, which made them feel more secure,” Mrs. Stillman said.
Mrs. Stillman said the general setup of the competition is typically the same each year; however, the competition shifts, as some schools are stronger or weaker than in previous years.
“This year our biggest competitors are American Heritage Plantation, Doral Academy and American Heritage Boca/Delray,” Mrs. Stillman said. “Even though it was difficult a competition, we were able to make it far in the end.”
Sophomore Adam Abdalla said this competition was an overall success due to the team’s preparation and experience throughout the past few years of hosting.
“This year, the competition was organized very well to avoid any mishaps throughout the process,” Abdalla said. “We’ve gained some knowledge in hosting these competitions in the past, so we know how to avoid issues and make it enjoyable for everyone.”
Before each competition, the members of MAO take practice tests and learn skills and formulas that are normally not covered in high school math classes. Abdalla said he was happy with the outcome of the competition as he placed both individually and as part of a team placing 10th out of 239 students and second out of 32 teams.
“I believe I was well prepared for this past competition due to the weekly practices and tips and tricks that were covered,” Abdalla said.
Freshman Daniel Jiande Xie competed in pre-calculus individually and speed math.
“This is my first year competing and I was able to place fourth in the speed math round,” Jiande Xie said. “During this competition, I was able to develop an understanding of my strengths and weaknesses.”
Jiande Xie said he found it beneficial to host a competition at school and believes it encouraged more participation from the members.
“Hosting our own competition allows us to be in control of the inner workings of the contest and feel more comfortable during rounds,” he said. “It helped me stay calm and confident as I knew where to go and what to expect.”