On Tuesday, February 26, 2013, the Brigham Young University Mathematics Department hosted its annual AMC 8 recognition ceremony for elementary and middle schools along the Wasatch Range.
The AMC 8 (American Mathematics Competition) is a 25 question, 40 minute test, ranging from easy to difficult, given to elementary and middle schools to test their knowledge on various levels of math, especially emphasizing problem solving. The problems are designed to challenge students beyond what is generally taught at their schools.
AMC 8 promotes enthusiasm and positive attitudes towards math. Many students today do not have much excitement towards learning math, and they generally want to stop after the required high school level. However, this test helps to show students their problem solving skills can be useful for math skills after the high school and college levels.
This year, over 152,570 students took the test worldwide. The highest possible score to get on the test is a 25. Only 226 out of the worldwide participants scored a perfect 25. This year, if a student scored a 12 or higher on the test, he or she was invited to the AMC 8 recognition ceremony to be recognized for their hard work. Utah schools who participated this year included: Beehive Science/Tech. Academy, Centerville Junior High, Waterford, Lakeridge Junior High, Art City Elementary, Canyon View Elementary, Cherry Hill Elementary, Highland Elementary, Foothill Elementary, Freedom Prepartory Academy, Hawthorne, Midvale Middle School, Provo High School, Reid School, Rock Canyon, San Rafael JHS, Spanish Fork JHS, Valley View, Vista Heights Middle School, Wasatch Junior High, Wasatch School, Weber State, West High School, and Westfield Elementary.
Awards were given to outstanding achievers—Distinguished Honor Roll (Top 1%), Honor Roll (Top 5%), and Achievement Roll (students in 6th grade and below who scored 15 or above). Annie Yun, an 8th grader at Wasatch Jr. High, scored the highest in Utah with a perfect score of 25. Tarun Martheswaran, one of the youngest participants, a 4th grader at Midvale Middle School, scored an excellent score of 18.
A variety of speakers presented at the event. Dr. Wright, a Brigham Young University Professor of Mathematics, spoke on the purpose of the AMC 8 and recognized the excelling participants. Dr. Wright has been instrumental in getting the AMC 8 up and running for many Utah schools as well as hosting the annual AMC 8 ceremony.
Dr. Joe Price, a professor in the Department of Economics at Brigham Young University, also gave some congratulatory remarks. He recognized the hard work of these students and encouraged them to never give up on their goals. Dr. Price claimed that being good at math can open up many doors for the future, including science, economics, and engineering.
Dr. Richard Brown, Dean of Engineering at the University of Utah, spoke of various careers in engineering. He said engineering is what makes our world today; from clothes to buildings engineers are a part of creating exciting and extraordinary objects. Dr. Brown told these students that with their skills and interests they can become great contributors to the future world.