College of the Rockies Hosts Annual Math Contest

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Image of math competition participant demonstrating the Van de Graaff electrostatic generator, with her hair standing up wildly.
Laurie Middle School Grade 9 student and third place winner in the Junior competition, Kristen Wilson, demonstrated the Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator at College of the Rockies during the annual BC Schools Math Contest.

College of the Rockies played host on May 8 to 12 aspiring East Kootenay mathematicians who participated in the 18th annual BC Schools Math Contest.

The contest, sponsored by the College, the Kootenay Rockies Innovation Council and School District #5, is open to students in grades 8 through 12.  Competitors were tasked with completing ten multiple-choice and five long answer math questions, primarily focussed on geometry.  Winners were selected based on overall score.

While the students awaited their results, the College provided some high voltage demonstrations of instrument commonly seen in vintage horror movies.  Included in the fun was the hair-raising Van de Graaff Electrostatic Generator, an electric arc generated by a Jacob’s Ladder, and an Aurora Borealis simulation.

Laurie Middle School grade nine math teacher, Catherine Fillis, was enthusiastic about the event. “What a great opportunity for our students not only to show their math skills, but also to participate in a fun and informative afternoon of electrical science,” she said.

After a pizza lunch, awards were presented by College of the Rockies Dean of Instruction, Darrell Bethune.  In the Junior category, first prize of $150 went to Wyatt Barnard, the $100 second prize went to Thomas Keehn and the $50 third prize was awarded to Kristen Wilson.

In the Senior group, Keagan Shedden took top honours along with the $300 prize, Kyra Huston came in second and was awarded $200 while Jordan Burnham came in third and won $100.

“I was very impressed with the level of skill demonstrated by all of the participants,” Bethune said. “We look forward to having these bright minds return to the College when they begin their post-secondary educations.”

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