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Waller JH Student Enters Math Challenge

Photo of Marissa Webb One Waller Junior High (WJH) student is taking her interest in math to another level. WJH Seventh-grader Marissa Webb is the only student to enter into the annual Scholastic Hardest Math Problem Student Contest. The contest is a national math competition open to all sixth- through eighth-grade students. The goal of the challenge is to Energize students’ perceptions of math with fun, challenging story problems that combine math reasoning skills with writing. Webb was introduced to the challenge by Math Teacher Amy Simon, who wanted a way to further interest students into math

“I thought this was a good chance to incorporate writing with math,” Simon said. “Students tend to struggle using math vocabulary to write about how and why they solved a problem a certain way.”

The math contest is set up into two challenges, with students having to solve a single math question in each challenge. For each math problem, students have to correctly answer the question and write a clear, concise explanation as to how they solved it. The first stage of the contest is open to all students interested in participating, with the second only open to students who correctly answered the first question. Simon learned Webb advanced to the second challenge at the beginning of January and was quick to let others know of her success.

“When I found out, I was very excited and went to our administrative team to brag about her advancement,” Simon said. “When I told Webb, she threw her hands into the air and ran around. It’s great to see students participate in something that is higher than our school and choosing to take the challenge.”

Entries for the second step of the challenge are due on Feb. 28. Only one grand prize winner and runner-up will be chosen from all seventh-grade entries. The grand prize winner will receive a new laptop and a $5,000 contribution to their 529 college savings plan and the runner-up will win a new tablet. The teacher of the grand prize winner will also receive a $500 gift card. Congratulations to Marissa Webb and good luck on the next step of the challenge!