Thursday, September 20, 2018
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Students attend UNL Math Day

Event used as reward.

Gothenburg High School students in the advanced placement calculus class put their skills to the test during the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s 20th annual Math Day on Nov. 12 in Lincoln.

“I have always liked the idea of math competition,” said teacher Sharise Scherer. “And I really liked the fact that no calculators were allowed and that students had to think on their own.”

Scherer and GHS science teacher Cindy Moore took the 14 students not only to show them the importance of math and fun of competition but also as a reward for those who started with eighth-grade algebra and continued with math through the AP calculus class.

The Gothenburg students were among 1,400 from across the state who were vying for $8,000 in prize money from a live game show called “Who Wants to be a Mathematician” and another $6,000 in scholarships from the Math Quiz Bowl.

All 14 Gothenburg students started the day with an hour-long PROBE (Problem) test to see if they were one of the top 50 students who got a chance on the game show.

“No such luck,” Scherer said.

Swedes Matt Hilderbrand, Patrick Reeves, Tanner Schwanz, Jeron Seimer and Scott Speck competed in the quiz bowl, winning their first round.

Scherer said in the second round, the boys were not as quick to the buzzer and the group lost again in the third round due to calculations that were off.

“I like how it promotes no calculator,” Scherer said, “And I will use it to motivate advanced students to use the calculator only when necessary and the graphic calculator only when students want a visual look at the problem.”

In addition to the quiz bowl players, other GHS students who attended were Joanna Blecha, Aaron Block, Kristi Block, Kelsey Houchin, Chris Hyde, Michelle Jack, Vanessa Linegar, Steph Rubenthaler and Tyler Sheets.