Math may not be everyone’s favorite subject but for two seventh grade students at Cardozo Middle School (CMS) – Will Eitelgeorge and Vincent Genova – their love for math took them to their very first Math Super Bowl where they came out victorious. Eitelgeorge took first place in the Blitz and third place in the Huddle while Genova also placed third in the Huddle.
First year CMS math teacher James Aguirre wanted to find some type of competition to take his math students to and found out about the Dick Schaff Mathematics Superbowl hosted by the Stanislaus Math Council and held at Modesto Junior College.
Aguirre expressed how dedicated the two young scholars are and that they always arrive to class 10 to 15 minutes early and they always do their homework, which is always neat and organized.
“Both of them are very articulate and analytical,” added Aguirre. “They just love math.”
Several students from seventh graders to seniors in Stanislaus County from schools like La Loma Junior High, Mark Twain, Ustach, Savage, and Prescott competed at the Super Bowl.
There are approximately 8000 seventh graders in Stanislaus County, Aguirre explained, so the students that participated in the competition are the “cream of the crop.”
The Super Bowl consists of three competitions, the Blitz, the Huddle, and the Bomb.
The Blitz is an individual event and consisted of several mathematical word problems and the student with the highest number of correct answers wins, which was awarded to Eitelgeorge.
“So he competed with the best and he came out on top in the Blitz,” stated Aguirre. “The Blitz was all word problems, they were very difficult problems. It was timed for about an hour.”
The Huddle is a two person event which Eitelgeorge and Genova competed in together. They had 30 minutes to do 30 problems and then at the end of the 30 minutes they collaborated on the answers and turned in one answer sheet. The boys took third place in this competition.
The third contest known as the Bomb is a five-person team relay event which the boys were allowed to compete in but could not win since they were only a team of two from the same school. The boys were allowed to be paired with three other students from different schools so that they could participate in the contest.
“It (letting the kids participate in the Bomb) was really cool on the part of the people that put it (Super Bowl) on because they just wanted the kids to participate,” said Aguirre. “It is a very efficient organization. They graded everything and handed out awards that day.”
Keeping his students sharp, Aguirre has a contest with his students on a daily basis to have them catch any mistakes that he might make whether it is in math or spelling. If they are correct the student will receive a raffle ticket and on Friday he will draw a name and that student will receive a prize.
“I am so proud of those little guys because they basically did all the work themselves,” expressed Aguirre. “In my mind they are literally world class kids because they are self-directed, they never give me trouble, they just always do their homework and they are just on it.”
Next year Aguirre plans to take a full team of seventh and eighth graders to the Math Super Bowl and is planning on sending the sixth graders to a different competition as well.
“They are more excited about math and they are looking forward to next year competing again,” said Aguirre. “They are looking forward to having more students compete from this school.
“So our goal next year is to bring a full team.”