By the Numbers Math Team's Work Pays off with Trip to State

Article excerpt

Byline: Eileen O. Daday Daily Herald Correspondent

They practice before school, and do much of their own cross- training at home on their own time. In fact, they have worked out so much this year, they earned a berth for the entire team at state - a first for Rolling Meadows High School.

Not to a sports tournament, mind you, but to a competition for the mind.

This is the math team, and they mean business.

"I don't know, the testing is just fun," said Rolling Meadows freshman Melissa Hoffmann, 15, of Arlington Heights. "You see the problems and try to figure them out, I find that fun. It's challenging your brain."

At the regional competition held in March at Northern Illinois University, Hoffmann won a first place medal in written competition Algebra I. She was among many individual students who wrote top scoring papers, said head coach Allison Kyte.

"We placed first in almost every event we were in," Kyte said. "Because of the team's high scores, we took first place in our division, qualifying the whole team for state. This is a first in the school's history, we usually send a few individuals to state, but not the whole team."

Members of the Illinois Council of Teacher of Math sponsor the state series of math competitions. State finals will be April 27 at the University of Illinois in Champaign. This will be the 22nd year the council has offered the state contest.

About 2,000 students will be involved in various competitions, representing 175 schools. Of those, only 54 schools qualified their entire teams to compete, while the rest advanced individuals or grade-level relays to state.

Other local teams to advance include Fremd and Prospect high schools, as well as 17 individual students from Buffalo Grove High School. Lake County teams to qualify include Vernon Hills, Stevenson and Libertyville high schools. …