Students in the Croton-Harmon school district are tackling some advanced math….
Forty-one industrious Croton-Harmon High School ninth- through 11th-grade students voluntarily took part in the 14th annual American Mathematics Competition (AMC). This was CHHS’s first year competing, and teacher Soyoung Lim worked tirelessly to prepare her students since learning that a grant from the Croton-Harmon Education Foundation would fund their participation.
“It has been my dream to offer them the opportunity to enter this type of competition,” said Ms. Lim. “The material stimulates higher-level thinking skills. It is logic-based and encourages the use of creative problem-solving skills.”
The AMC is dedicated to strengthening the mathematical capabilities of students nationwide and is designed for those of varying levels of math aptitude – from the average math student at a typical school who enjoys mathematics to the very best student at the most specialized school. Each exam contains 25 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in 75 minutes.
Results are usually sent to the school within three weeks and are followed up with a written report, accompanied by the awards for the school. Eleventh-grade students who rank in the top 5 percent nationally qualify for the American Invitational Mathematics Exam. Ninth and 10th-graders who rank in the top 2.5 percent nationally also qualify.
What happens before and after the AMC contests can have lasting educational value. Students are often inspired to pursue advanced studies in mathematics and participate in math leagues. Such interest often leads to careers in engineering, computer programming and even medicine.
AMC participants are also eligible for a month-long Math Olympiad Summer Program, which ultimately helps determine the six members of the United States International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO) team. The IMO places the top math students from over 90 countries in competition and has them solve problems that would challenge most professional mathematicians. Content ranges from extremely difficult precalculus problems to problems on branches of mathematics not conventionally covered at school and often not at university level either, such as projective and complex geometry, functional equations and well-grounded number theory, of which extensive knowledge of theorems is required.