Young Math Whizzes Compete

Jan 29, 2018

Some 140 third, fourth and fifth grade students from all over Leon County were at Tallahassee's Math and Science Charter School on Saturday (1/27) to take part in the yearly Math Stars Competition.

The main building of Tallahassee's School of Math and Science charter school.
Credit Tom Flanigan

Organizers said the event primes the students for more advanced competition, as well as helping make their more attractive prospects for college admission. While the kids tackled math problems in the school's 2nd floor classrooms, many anxious parents waited in the cafeteria. Like Michael Tolian who described his son Liam as a real whiz at this sort of thing.

"And he loves doing math and science stuff," said an obviously proud Tolian. "In fact just this past weekend he was at a robotics competition over in Jefferson County."

Sixth grade student Chloe Thompson is a former competitor who volunteered to help with this year's Math Bee. She also likes math. Sort of.

"A lot of people go, like, 'Eww! Math! Ugh!'" she said, impersonating the reaction of some of her classmates. "I think it's fine. I really don't hate it."

Also on hand was school board member Mark Bourassa who had a weather display from FSU's Center for Oceanic Atmospheric Predictive Studies where he's associate director.

"All these little demonstrations reach out to them and show them there's something enjoyable about weather besides a day off school," he said.

Presiding over it all was a very enthusiastic school Principal Ahmet Temel.

"This is great! As a kid, I would love to be here. It's fun!" he exclaimed, smiling broadly.