Published 10:00 am Friday, February 2, 2024

Springwood School’s high school math team got runner-up at the AISA state competition on Wednesday. The high school team, affectionately called the “Denominators,” includes Ethan Joo, Kris Huynh, Ken Vu, Ethan Mabrey and Keith Nguyen. The team came in second out of all the AISA schools. Springwood Eighth grader Eric Chen received the second-highest individual score in the middle school competition.

The state competition was held at Troy University in Montgomery, with the best teams from AISA’s seven districts present. Springwood was invited after the Denominators won first place at the district competition earlier this month. Chen took first place in the district, as well, and moved on to the state individual competition.

At the competition, the teams had two separate events to test their math skills. First, the five members of the team took a 50-question multiple-choice test. The four highest scores are considered and count toward team points. 

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After the written test, four of the team members do “ciphering,” which is when all the teams answer the same given question at the same time. The team gets bonuses if they answer the question correctly within 30 or 60 seconds. After, four rounds of ciphering, the final scores placed Springwood in second out of the seven districts. The gold went to St. James School in Montgomery. 

The team sponsor and Springwood math teacher, Suzanne Cook praised the students who competed saying, “We’ve just got some really good students and we’re real proud of them.”

Cook said the group is open to those who are interested in or excel at math. For competitions, the team is usually comprised of students who are older and have completed much of the math curriculum.

“All of them are in either precalculus or calculus. So we usually take our students that have been through as much math as possible, because at the high school level, it’s really everything that we’ve learned,” Cook said. 

The deno-mination is not over for the Springwood math teams. Cook said they are looking forward to competing at the Southern Union Mathematics Tournament. Last year, the Denominators took home the top prize in all subjects, except for Algebra I.