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A Math Adventure in Orlando

Marauder Mathletes Compete at the 2024 Florida Association of Mu Alpha Theta State Convention

Photo by Lauren Fantle

Marauder mathletes kicked off their journey to the Florida Association of Mu Alpha Theta (FAMAT) State Convention on Thursday, April 18. This year, the team consisted of 16 students across algebra II, precalculus, and calculus. Upon gathering at school at 7 a.m., the mathletes began a long drive to Orlando, Fla. They spent the first day of the trip visiting the Universal Studios, which promoted team bonding and helped create new memories.

The official math events took place in the following two days. On April 19, students attended the opening ceremony and participated in several tests, including ciphering, individual subject tests and topic tests round one. The answers were posted immediately after each test, so students could evaluate their performance with a greater mix of excitement and nervousness.

“I relearned a couple math tricks throughout state and studied in the morning as well, picking up a few small formulas,” senior Clark Mitchell said. “Overall, however, I learned that, even when events don’t go quite as planned, we work well as a team and can still have lots of fun together.”

Outside of the testing hours, Marauder mathletes spent fun time at the hotel pool and local stores. This provided an opportunity for students to bond with each other, their sponsor John Guassaroff and students from other schools in ways other than math.

“It was such a fun experience,” sophomore Anna Chuku said. “I'm glad I got to make more friends from other schools and hang out with all of our teammates. It was fun competing, hanging out in the pool, in rooms and just downstairs.”

On April 20, four students with the highest individual scores from each subject participated in team competitions. Then, following the topic tests round two, a few students competed in creative math events – hussle and relay. Through these interactive activities, mathletes across Florida could experience more diverse applications of math.

“I wish I had joined [Mu Alpha Theta] earlier because I would’ve been able to maybe have a bigger impact on the team and learn more,” senior Jack McDonald said. “I probably would’ve tried to push myself more to get into the later calculus class and maybe just study more.”

Closing the state convention was the award ceremony. Mitchell won 18th in BC Calculus, and Maclay was named the 2024 FAMAT Chapter of the Year.

“It was really nice to earn a medal at state, the last competition of my last year in Mu Alpha Theta,” Mitchell said. “Winning both the medal and Chapter of the Year leaves a sweet taste as I leave this amazing club and head off for college.”

Compared to last year, Maclay Mu Alpha Theta showed significant growth not only in size but also in teamwork and performance. On the next day, April 21, students arrived back in Tallahassee.


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Andy Poll

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