Norwich Free Academy math team wraps up season

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Norwich - posted Tue., Apr. 5, 2011
The Norwich Free Academy math team wrapped up its season on March 31. Photo by Denise Coffey.
The Norwich Free Academy math team wrapped up its season on March 31. Photo by Denise Coffey.

Imagine a team whose practice sessions consist of sitting hunched over tables, eyes focused narrowly on sentences. Imagine a meet where individuals are given 10 minutes to complete an arduous task. These teams compete against other teams, but also against a clock. The only time the competitors can rely on another teammate is in the final round, the last of six. Such is life on the Norwich Free Academy math team, which ended its season last week.

NFA competed in six meets this season. Thirteen schools compete in a match. Each match has six rounds of 10 minutes each, with three problems each. Rounds one through five deal with mathematical problems in the following areas: arithmetic, algebra I, geometry, algebra II, and pre-calculus. The sixth round is a team round, in which students may work on the problems together.

Each school fields two teams, A and B. Team A has three members. Team B can be any size. Each member can compete in only three rounds out of six. Only the scores for Team A count. After each round, the scores of all Team As are tallied. The scores of all rounds are added for the final score. The school with the highest score wins the match.

This season, NFA came in seventh in a field of 15 schools in the Greater New London County Math League.

At the team’s final competition on March 31, Chaohua Wu was the high scorer for the team. Florence Dillon was the school’s highest scorer for the year. She received the NFA Top Scorer certificate for her efforts.

According to Zato Kadambaya, the biggest challenge the math team faces is recruiting students.

“Usually our high-performing students are in other clubs which provide scholarships,” he said. The math team does not have scholarships. The school recognizes members with certificates for participation and it records this on their transcripts.

Kadambaya hopes to use the end of the season celebration as a means of highlighting the team’s achievements and bringing new talent to the team.

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