Competition in school subjects often is enjoyed at the high school level, but when monthly challenges are developed similar to sports competitions, younger children get excited about math contests.
Buchholz High School math teacher Wil Frazer also hoped that competition could get kids excited early about math, so he and Superintendent Owen Roberts developed the monthly math competitions for elementary and middle school students.
There are two reasons for limiting the competition to younger students, according to Frazer. First, a competition outside the regular class will catch interest among students who might not otherwise be interested. The competition could also catch the students who have exceptional mathematical aptitude early.
“If you find somebody in ninth grade who has talent, it’s pretty late to develop it to the point that they can compete,” he said.
The tests for the Math Olympiad are distributed by Frazer in the fall to participating schools. The test is open to all students, but is generally administered through the school math clubs.