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From Journey Middle School, winners in Journey Math Team from past competitions stand with Mrinal Joshi, front left, Math Department Head at Journey, and Journey Principal Dr. Treva Stewart, front right. CONTRIBUTED

Journey Math Team makes mark in 2 tourneys

MADISON – Two competitions challenged Math Team members from Journey Middle School, but, despite the odds against larger school teams, they claimed a lengthy list of honors.

Journey competed in two contests in two weeks. Sixth-graders entered Math-A-Palooza at Bob Jones High School on March 23. Sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders participated on March 30 in James Clemens High School’s first competition.

“This is the first time we competed against all Division 1 schools (Journey is Division 2). Since these competitions weren’t categorized based on divisions, my students had to compete against the big Division 1 schools,” sponsor and Math Department Head Mrinal Joshi said.

Journey students earned seven medals – two gold, two silver and three bronze. “We received seven out of 11 trophies,” Joshi said. “Awards are given to the top 30 percent: Gold – top 10; Silver – 10 to 20; and Bronze – 20 to 30.”

In sixth grade, Ike Farounbi and Rohan Sahoo won two Gold medals (of four possible). Rachel Hughes and Ivy Zhang claimed two of three Silver medals. Neil Dube, Caden Howard and Antonio Hughes received two Bronze medals.

The seventh-grade team includes Aryana Baria, Brody Barlow, Valen Bell, Charvisri Donthala, Timothy McKee, Grace Mehta, Camden Moultrie and Austin Zhu.

Sixth-grade team members are Noah Diallo, Neil Dube, IkeOluwanimi Farounbi, Devansh Goyal, Rachel Harris, Caden Howard, Antonio Hughes, Cooper Landrith, Michael Leaney, Marlon Ross Jr., Rohan Sahoo, Wylie Savage and Ivy Zhang.

“Math Team is a competition team class . . . fast-paced where much higher than grade-level skills are taught,” Joshi said. “We ask students to join who have a mathematically strong foundation, are self-motivated and take full responsibility for their learning.”

“I always tell my math team members that I can’t do it alone . . . we have to work together to succeed. That’s why it’s called a math TEAM,” Joshi said.

Math Team’s objective is “to build a passion for math amongst students. I encourage students to become mathematical problem solvers, reason mathematically, value math’s importance, communicate mathematically and become confident in their own mathematical abilities,” Joshi said.

Each competition usually has two parts – a written test and ciphering. The required, written test has 25 multiple-choice problems. During ciphering, students must answer questions quickly; the quicker the student answers, the more points received.

In support, math team parents transport their children to competition and worked hard at home to confirm their children were practicing.

“Once again, Journey Jags rocked the competition. Today was even more remarkable because students competed against all the big Division 1 schools,” Joshi said. “Such a proud moment for my team. I’m beyond excited.”

Journey Math Team also entered the James Clemens competition. For team trophies, officials used the top four scores for written tests and team scores.

Journey’s seventh-grade team won first place.

The top 10 students overall, per grade level, received individual awards, including these Journey students:

* Sixth grade — Wylie Savage, first place; Rachel Harris, third; Ivy Zhang, fifth; Rohan Sahoo, ninth.

* Seventh grade (first place overall) — Aryana Baria, first place; Austin Zhu, second; Charvisri Donthala, ninth.

* Eighth grade — Riley Medders, eighth.

“I absolutely love the thrill of competitions and have a passion for teaching Math Team,” Joshi said. “That’s where my calling is. When you teach what you’re passionate about, the learning for students is greatly accomplished.”

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