Einstein Science Reporting for Kids
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5-Feb-2014

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

Math contest adds up to prizes, encourages STEM involvement

UH STEM Center hosts math-savvy teens at 9th annual competition

Hundreds of math-savvy teens will compete Saturday, Feb. 8, during the ninth annual University of Houston (UH) Mathematics Contest. The event is free to participants and open to students through grade 12.

The organizers expect a turn out of 600 contestants from nearly 50 schools to test their mettle in math and vie 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/.

"We look forward to this contest each year. There are many talented students who come from hundreds of miles away to compete, and we are so thankful for their enthusiasm and their teachers' support," said Jeff Morgan, associate provost of education innovation and technology. "The university sponsors this event and many other STEM outreach activities each year. In addition to allowing us to be a resource to the community, it's a way to showcase UH to hundreds of top-achieving students."

From 9 to 11:30 a.m., students will take individual exams in algebra I and II, geometry, pre-calculus, calculus, physics, statistics and calculator usage. Following the sit-down exams, the students break for an animated, lunchtime competition at 11:45 a.m., called the Quick-Click Smack Down. This interactive lightning round gives students only seconds to click in their answers to a series of math problems in a game show style setting. In the "smack down," competitors are gradually eliminated until the one with the fastest mind and nimblest fingers is 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.

WHO: Middle and High School Students

WHAT: Ninth Annual UH Math Contest

WHEN: 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 8
9 a.m. to 11:30 Sit-down exams
11:45 a.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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