A sixth grade student at St. Mary School in Vermilion, Patrick Anders is one of 576 finalists chosen to compete in a national math competition called MathCON in Chicago this April. Anders beat almost 50,000 applicants across 43 states to qualify for the Chicago event.
Students nationwide from all types of schools, including home-schooled children, in the middle and upper grades compete across several mathematical disciplines: algebra, geometry, measurement, data analysis, number systems and pre-calculus. They take an online assessment to qualify and compete in the finals at the University of Illinois at Chicago going head to head. The students compete for prizes and national prestige through various math questions and activities.
MathCON was created in 2008 by Concept Schools as a Midwest competition with just 125 participants, and has since grown to a national event. MathCON’s goal is to engage students in STEM outside of the classroom, and encourage more students to enter the STEM fields, which are currently some of the fastest-growing industries in the United States.
“We’re incredibly proud when any of our students earn recognition for their accomplishments, and we’re so excited to have Patrick representing St. Mary’s advancing to the finals.”, Mrs. Barb Bialko said. “The STEM field is such an important part of the future, and we actively encourage our teachers and students to find fun ways to use STEM inside and outside of the classroom. This is a great honor not only for Patrick, but also for St. Mary School.” Molly Anders, Patrick’s mom, shared, “we are excited about this opportunity St. Mary School has provided for him.”
When asked how he felt about this accomplishment, Anders stated, “I’m looking forward to going to Chicago and competing against other 6th graders in the country. I hope I will have time to go to the Chicago White Sox game because the Cleveland Indians will be playing while I’m there.” In addition to the finals testing, students at this year’s competition will enjoy a math comedy show, a pizza party with other participants, while also having the chance to play an array of STEM-related games.