Stu­dents’ Math Knowl­edge Pays Off

Riverbank News - - NEWS - BY VIR­GINIA STILL vstill@oak­dale­

Math may not be ev­ery­one’s fa­vorite sub­ject but for two seventh grade stu­dents at Car­dozo Mid­dle School (CMS) – Will Eitel­ge­orge and Vin­cent Gen­ova – their love for math took them to their very first Math Su­per Bowl where they came out vic­to­ri­ous.

Eitel­ge­orge took first place in the Blitz and third place in the Hud­dle while Gen­ova also placed third in the Hud­dle.

First year CMS math teacher James Aguirre wanted to find some type of com­pe­ti­tion to take his math stu­dents to and found out about the Dick Schaff Math­e­mat­ics Su­per­bowl hosted by the Stanis­laus Math Coun­cil and held at Modesto Ju­nior Col­lege.

Aguirre ex­pressed how ded­i­cated the two young schol­ars are and that they al­ways ar­rive to class 10 to 15 min­utes early and they al­ways do their home­work, which is al­ways neat and or­ga­nized.

“Both of them are very ar­tic­u­late and an­a­lyt­i­cal,” added Aguirre. “They just love math.”

Sev­eral stu­dents from seventh graders to se­niors in Stanis­laus County from schools like La Loma Ju­nior High, Mark Twain, Us­tach, Sav­age, and Prescott com­peted at the Su­per Bowl.

There are ap­prox­i­mately 8000 seventh graders in Stanis­laus County, Aguirre ex­plained, so the stu­dents that par­tic­i­pated in the com­pe­ti­tion are the “cream of the crop.”

The Su­per Bowl con­sists of three com­pe­ti­tions, the Blitz, the Hud­dle, and the Bomb.

The Blitz is an in­di­vid­ual event and con­sisted of sev­eral math­e­mat­i­cal word prob­lems and the stu­dent with the high­est num­ber of cor­rect an­swers wins, which was awarded to Eitel­ge­orge.

“So he com­peted with the best and he came out on top in the Blitz,” stated Aguirre. “The Blitz was all word prob­lems, they were very dif­fi­cult prob­lems. It was timed for about an hour.”

The Hud­dle is a two per­son event which Eitel­ge­orge and Gen­ova com­peted in to­gether. They had 30 min­utes to do 30 prob­lems and then at the end of the 30 min­utes they col­lab­o­rated on the an­swers and turned in one an­swer sheet. The boys took third place in this com­pe­ti­tion.

The third con­test known as the Bomb is a five-per­son team re­lay event which the boys were al­lowed to com­pete in but could not win since they were only a team of two from the same school. The boys were al­lowed to be paired with three other stu­dents from dif­fer­ent schools so that they could par­tic­i­pate in the con­test.

“It (let­ting the kids par­tic­i­pate in the Bomb) was re­ally cool on the part of the peo­ple that put it (Su­per Bowl) on be­cause they just wanted the kids to par­tic­i­pate,” said Aguirre. “It is a very ef­fi­cient or­ga­ni­za­tion. They graded ev­ery­thing and handed out awards that day.”

Keep­ing his stu­dents sharp, Aguirre has a con­test with his stu­dents on a daily ba­sis to have them catch any mis­takes that he might make whether it is in math or spelling. If they are cor- rect the stu­dent will re­ceive a raf­fle ticket and on Fri­day he will draw a name and that stu­dent will re­ceive a prize.

“I am so proud of those lit­tle guys be­cause they ba­si­cally did all the work them­selves,” ex­pressed Aguirre. “In my mind they are lit­er­ally world class kids be­cause they are self-di­rected, they never give me trou­ble, they just al­ways do their home­work and they are just on it.”

Next year Aguirre plans to take a full team of seventh and eighth graders to the Math Su­per Bowl and is plan­ning on send­ing the sixth graders to a dif­fer­ent com­pe­ti­tion as well.

“They are more ex­cited about math and they are look­ing for­ward to next year com­pet­ing again,” said Aguirre. “They are look­ing for­ward to hav­ing more stu­dents com­pete from this school.

“So our goal next year is to bring a full team.”


Th­ese two stand­out stu­dents Will Eitel­ge­orge and Vin­cent Gen­ova along with their math teacher James Aguirre had a great ex­pe­ri­ence at their very first Math Su­per Bowl.


At the re­cent River­bank Uni­fied School Board Meet­ing, Will Eitel­ge­orge and Vin­cent Gen­ova were rec­og­nized for their out­stand­ing ef­forts at the Math­e­mat­ics Su­per Bowl, shown here with Board Pres­i­dent Suzanne Dean.

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