Einstein Science Reporting for Kids
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8-Feb-2013

Contact: Lisa Merkl
lkmerkl@uh.edu
713-743-8192
University of Houston

Quick-Click Smack Down caps off UH contest for math-savvy teens

8th annual competition encourages future mathematicians, scientists

HOUSTON, Feb. 6, 2013 Hundreds of Houston's most math-savvy teens will showcase their talents in physics, calculus and other subjects, Saturday, Feb. 9, during the eighth annual University of Houston (UH) Mathematics Contest. The event is free to participants and open to both middle and high school students.

The organizers expect a turn out of 600 contestants from nearly 60 schools, all vying for awards and prizes. While onsite registration is available the day of the competition, students can sign up in advance at http://mathcontest.uh.edu/.

"The students who come to the contest are talented and enjoy mathematics. It's inspiring to see the incredible ability of these young women and men," said Jeff Morgan, professor and chair of UH's department of mathematics. "The math contest is a huge effort involving numerous faculty, staff and students at UH. We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new area teachers and students at this year's contest."

In addition to individual exams given that day in algebra I and II, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, physics, statistics and calculator usage, there is a pre-event team project that entails solving a set of long, complex math problems the week before the competition that is due upon arrival at the event. The final lightening round at 12:15 p.m., called Quick-Click Smack Down, requires fast minds and nimble fingers, where students are given only seconds to click in their answers to a series of math problems, with one victor left standing.

The event is capped off by a 1 p.m. awards ceremony, where trophies are awarded for individual exams, team projects and overall school performance. The top-performing student will receive a $200 cash award. Door prizes include gift certificates, iTunes gift cards, calculators and contest T-shirts. This year, Morgan says, teachers also will have a chance to win a weekend stay at a nice area hotel.

The contest is sponsored by the mathematics department in UH's College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics.

WHO:
Houston-area middle and high school students

WHAT:
Eighth Annual UH Math Contest

WHEN:
8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 9

9 a.m. to noon Sit-down exams
12:15 p.m. Quick-Click Smack Down
1 p.m. Awards Ceremony

WHERE:
University of Houston
Science and Engineering Classroom building, room 100
Off Cullen Boulevard, Entrance 14
Map: http://www.uh.edu/campus_map/buildings/SEC.php

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