By Kayla Smithgall
On Thursday, April 6, 44 Sterling High School (SHS) students participated in the annual Math and Science Competition held at Northeastern Junior College (NJC). The students left SHS at 8:30 a.m. and returned at 3:00 p.m. SHS mathematics teacher Christian Robles spent the day with the students.
The 44 students included freshmen Kevin Smithgall, Darcy Trump, Ananisia Gallegos, Alexandria Alles, Noah Tonche, Camryn Trump, Alexander Mahaffey, Tyler Prodey, Jaxon McCracken, Joslyne Lopez, Chase Hume, Akayla Mahaffey and Adrian Aguirre, sophomores Liam Skerjanec, Makenna May, Ethan Phelps, Ashby Hux, Greyson Dudley, DeVontae Kilgore, Wesley Younger, Hunter Paxton, Hannah Nelson, Mariah Gohson, Emily Fleckenstein, Zach Loft, Brooklynn Bohler, Ian Cone, Reid Kaiser, Katie Masters, Maggie Alsup and Sadie Holloway, juniors Rachael Northup, Trevor Smith, Riley Schaefer, Cassidy Paxton, Shyloh Ertle, Riley Meisner, Jacob Schroeder, Victoria Trevino, Rebecca Miller, Bodie Hume, Cherie Bell and Saengchat Theerakitpaisal and seniors Abigail Davidson and Victor Ferri.
There were 18 schools that participated in the competition, which included SHS, Akron High School, Brush High School, Caliche High School, Fleming High School, Fort Morgan High School, Holyoke High School, Julesburg High School, Kimball High School, Limon High School, Merino High School, Peetz High School, Prairie High School, Revere High School, Weld Central High School, Wiggins High School, Wray High School and Yuma High School.
The students took tests based off of their grade level. 95 freshmen participated in the ninth grade science test, 52 in critical thinking and 60 in Algebra I; 109 sophomores participated in the biology test, 54 in critical thinking and 94 in geometry; 59 juniors participated in the Chemistry I test, 49 in critical thinking and 97 in Algebra II; 26 seniors participated in the physics test, 45 in critical thinking and 21 in calculus. 32 juniors and seniors participated in senior math and 35 participated in trigonometry.
The second session was then held at 10:45 a.m. This session was for the subject math and more critical thinking tests.
After the testing sessions, which lasted around an hour, the students had a lunch break until the award ceremony at 1:30. SHS had four students that placed in the competition.
Akayla Mahaffey placed third in Algebra I.
“I was expecting the test to be very difficult. I felt the test was something I was well equipped for, but I also found some things I need to work on. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to go. I am so thankful to have gotten third at the fair,” she said.
Dudley placed third in biology.
“The competition was for the most part easy, except botany was hard because I know nothing about flowers,” he said. “Taking the test allowed me to learn better test taking strategies.”
He is confident that he will take first next year.
Theerakitpaisal placed first in Algebra II.
“The test wasn’t very hard because I was prepared for it. This is also my first and last American math competition and I am glad I did so good,” she said.
Northup placed second in Chemistry I. The test was easier than she expected it to be.
“I remember reading the questions on the test and thinking, ‘Wow! I actually learned this in class!’ So that made me feel better. I was glad I could apply what I had learned,” she said.
Although science isn’t her best subject, the test gave her more confidence in the subject.
“When I found out how I did, I was kind of shocked, but really excited because this was a hard contest to place in and I haven’t placed in the top three for a few years now,” said Northup. “Overall, the math and science fair was really fun, if you can call taking tests as being fun.”
Robles is very pleased with the results of the competition.
“I was and still am proud and satisfied for their effort. I knew those tests were going to be really difficult, but they came through and these are the results. I’m glad that I got to be part of this experience. It’s very rewarding to know as a teacher that all that hard work we put in the classroom somehow pays off. I can’t wait to next year,” said Robles.