On Tuesday, February 23, several of the Jackson Prep math teachers took 40 students in grades 8-12, 8 from each of the 5 grades, to compete in the Mississippi School for Math and Science Math Tournament at the Trotter Convention Center in Columbus. The competition contained nearly 600 students from 18 schools across the state that took tests in 5 different subjects: Algebra I, Geometry, Algebra II, Trig/Pre-Cal, and Calculus.

Each student took a ciphering test and a written test based on the subject of math they were taking for their grade, the 8th graders taking Algebra I, 9th graders Geometry, 10 graders Algebra II, 11th graders Trigonometry/Pre-Cal, and 12th graders Calculus. In the ciphering round, speed and accuracy were both emphasized with a two minute time limit being placed on each problem of the 20 problem test. If the student finished before 1 minute and got the problem correct, they got 2 points. If they finished after 1 minute and got it correct, they gained 1 point. If they missed the question, they got 0 points. After taking the ciphering test, students took a quick break before taking the written test which ranged from 20 to 22 questions for different subjects and lasted 55 minutes. This was the end of the competing for most of the students, but 4 students from each school participated in the Potpourri round and 10 students participated in the Interschool competition. After this, everyone’s tests are graded.

In each of the different competitions, individual scores were taken from each person. Then the individual scores are taken together and combined for a team score for each grade. After that, the grades’ placing is combined together to find the overall champion. All of Jackson Prep’s grades placed in the top 4 with the 9th graders and 11th graders finishing at the top in their respective grades. Prep produced several top 10 individual scorers as well with 9th grader Genevieve Hurst and 11th grader Wesley Robertson having the top individual scores in their divisions. Overall, Prep was not able to defend its title, finishing in second place to Madison Central. However, the students performed well and represented Jackson Prep and the math department in a good manner.

The trip was not only a math trip; the students had a great time also. Everyone had to be at the school at 5:15 in the morning, but after a little sleep on the way there, they were caught up on rest. 9th grader Spence Graves said about the trip, “I was not looking forward to getting up early, but once I got on the bus with everyone, it was a lot of fun.” Another fun thing was the seniors’ attire. The attire for the majority of boys was khaki pants with a collared shirt while many of the girls wore jeans. That was not the case for the seniors however; they wore pajamas. The best attire goes to Seth Lenoir who wore his set of Elf pajamas with “Son of a Nutcracker” written all along the pajamas. Overall, this math tournament was a great experience for all of the students who participated.