More than seventy-five middle and high school students visited UTC on March 27 for the Mathematics Department’s seventh annual Mathematics Poster Competition.

math-poster-competition-2014-08This year’s competition featured the theme, “Math and Statistics in the World Around Us.” The forty-eight posters submitted covered serious topics like the success of breast cancer treatments and the pricing of gasoline, as well as the whimsical winner of the middle school category which addressed the mathematics of the popular Flappy Bird app.

“We were extremely pleased with the strength of the students and their work this year,” said Dr. Matt Matthews, Interim Department Head of Mathematics and the organizer of the competition. “The judges told me repeatedly that they were impressed, enjoyed talking with the students about their posters, and looked forward to judging again for our competition in the future.”

Posters are judged on creativity, visual presentation, how the poster relates to the theme, and whether or not the mathematical content is presented clearly and correctly. There are 3 categories for the contest: grades 6-8, grades 9-10, and grades 11-12. Prizes are awarded in each of the three categories: $200 for first place, $100 for second place, and $50 for third place.

In addition to the presentation on the mobile game Flappy Bird, whose team from Ringgold Middle School won first place in their category, two other teams took home the $200 first place prize. First place in the second category, grades 9-10, went to a team from Berean Academy with a poster about how parabolas are used in the world around us. The first place prize in the third category, grades 11-12, went to the team from Sale Creek High School for their poster, “Wordz.”

The Mathematics Department hosts this competition every spring to coincide with National Math Awareness Month and to expose students to the many opportunities in the field of mathematics.

“Events like our poster competition are important because they build a relationship between our local schools and the University,” said Matthews. “I have a student in my Calculus class right now who is a former participant in the poster competition. She is a very good student, and her teacher has been bringing students to our competition for years now.”

This year, the competition featured teams from Ringgold Middle School, Heritage Middle School, Berean Academy, Sale Creek Middle High, Hixson High School, and Signal Mountain Middle High. Each school had at least one team place in the top three for their category.

As a part of the event, the middle and high school students are also invited to participate in a tour of the University.

“When we provide a full campus tour of the University, it will be the first time that many of those students have had a chance to see a university campus alive with classes and laboratories, students and faculty,” said Matthews.

Students and teachers interested in participating in next year’s competition should contact Dr. Matthews at Matt-Matthews@utc.edu . The competition is open to all area middle schools, high schools, and home school programs. More information may be found here

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